What is your name and job title?
Louise Coughlan /Designer/Creative Director
I studied fashion and then went on to do a post-grad diploma in Costume at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Following that I worked on a number of projects for Gifford’s Circus and Downton Abbey to name a few before embarking on launching the Pala Mino label.
What did you love to wear as a child?
I was always a bit of a tomboy; I had a favourite pair of faded jeans, although secretly, I always wanted a wardrobe from Benetton or Dash, but we could never afford it.
What’s so great about children’s fashion?
You can be more bold and adventurous with shape and colour for kid’s fashion.
Comfort is paramount, and that is why I design clothes that have an easy relaxed style and fit.There are no itchy labels or annoying zips, just great pieces made from soft cotton jerseys and sweat-shirting. What is more, everything always looks better in miniature…
What are the highlights of your autumn winter 2014 collection?
We have a trans-seasonal collection, as layering is all part of the fun, but we have just introduced a few key pieces for A/W14 including the Skip-hop tie dress and I-Spy leggings to throw into the mix.
How important is it to keep up with changing fashion trends?
I’m always keeping an eye on emerging trends with what is coming through, but I want to keep a distinctive style so people can identify the brand immediately. It is more about developing the Pala Mino style rather than switching each season from one look to another and confusing people.
How have you made your brand stand out in the increasingly growing market of children’s fashion?
I am keen for Pala Mino to become known for its cut and quality. Modern classics are given a playful twist as they mix innovative materials with craftsmanship and attention to detail. Teamed together with strong silhouettes and colour blocking, this collection has a sport-luxe feel that is playful and hopefully fun to wear.
Where do you source design inspiration?
I’m really drawn to strong, simple geometric shapes, which is seen in my use of colour-blocking throughout the collection. There is a definite nod to the Constructivists Movement; I like how it focuses on practical, simple clothing, with the aim to allow full movement to the wearer, which is essential when designing clothes for children.
Why do you think parents are increasingly more interested in what their children are wearing?
I think social media is playing a big part in how design savvy parents want to project themselves to the world; their children are an extension of them, so they want to reflect this by choosing brands that fit with their social leanings and ideals. Pala Mino is aspirational, but we hope parents will choose it because of its style, quality and practicality rather than just aesthetics.
Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards?
It’s all very well designing a great collection but as a start up we wanted people to know about Pala Mino …we thought this would be the perfect platform to do this.
What is next for your brand?
We want to build our network of online retailers in the UK and further a field and develop our own web shop. We are also looking to expand into other age ranges, so watch this space!