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Tails and Tales Q&A - Best emerging children's fashion brand 2014 - HIGHLY COMMENDED

We meet the designer behind the 2014 Junior Design Award highly commended entry

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What is your name and job title?

Timothy Charles, owner and designer of Tails and Tales.

What did you love to wear as a child?

I can't actually remember what I wore, just that I was mainly covered in mud from playing outdoors so much! 

What’s so great about children’s fashion?

Children's fashion is so much more flexible than adults wear.  There are no limits to what can be developed in childrenswear in a way that just isn't practical for adult clothing.  I love being able to see the development of children (whether my nephews or more recently my daughter) as they latch onto the design and inspirations of everything around them.  Even at a young age, kids want to immerse themselves into fantastical stories and share the experience with their story book heroes.  I am really inspired by sharing my own childhood memories through our brand to help kids' imaginations come to life.     

What are the highlights of your autumn winter 2014 collection?

Our launch collection, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, has a signature Alice dress that's impossible not to love but my personal favourite is the Red Queen inspired range.  The combination of the jacket, dress and skirt becomes a striking and original piece which captures some of the quirkiness within the books but also captures the flexibility of our brand.  These three pieces combine to reflect a magical adventure in waiting but when separated are flexible individual items that can be worn as everyday items of clothing.

How important is it to keep up with changing fashion trends?

My belief is that parents want their kids to be on trend but equally look for something that can make a statement about them and their kids.  Our range tries to tap into this by enabling parents to say "quality and design is very important but I want my kids to be able to have fun".  As a parent myself, I think this combination is something really difficult to find in the current market.

How have you made your brand stand out in the increasingly growing market of children’s fashion?

The market seems to be dominated by either mini-fashion (adult inspired clothing but in kid's sizes) or heavily branded and often lower quality material based clothing.  The gap for merging story telling and clothing became a source of inspiration and drive for me starting Tails and Tales.  Our brand is design led but without compromising on quality finishing and materials.  I would define it as being focused on quality, originality and most importantly fun!

Where do you source design inspiration? 

Our launch collection is inspired by Alice in Wonderland which is a story which captures the impossibility of a child's imagination.  Our design inspirations are our own memories and stories that bring back the fun and excitement of childhood.  Our range seeks to capture this and blend in a parent's focus on practicality with a range that is.  

Why do you think parents are increasingly more interested in what their children are wearing?

I would like to think that parents are becomingly increasingly inspired by the opportunities and options available to their children in a way which never was for our generation.  The ability to bring play into a child's life without the need of technology makes childrenswear an increasingly appealing focus for parents.  The prevalence of social media makes a much broader range of brands much more accessible for any parent and more importantly any child!  

Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards?

The Junior Design Awards has such a great profile and brand value. I was drawn to enter because the characteristics that the awards stand for match our own brand philosophy.   

What is next for your brand?

Our original plans were to use each collection to introduce a new adventure, inspired by fairy tales and children's favourite books.  We have lots of ideas about new collections and aim to build up anticipation each season as to what might be coming next.  We are currently expanding our current Alice in Wonderland inspired collection building on the foundations of our launch range: think more colour combinations and a broader range of items.  


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