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The Fashion Inside Scoop: Mini Boden

We chat exclusively to Tara Ryan, Head of Mini Boden Design, about her design inspirations and the importance of sparkly shoes...

Head of design at Mini Boden, Tara Ryan, pictured with her favourite Twirly dress
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Why did you decide to work in childrenswear?

I’d designed for women and men previously but once I’d had children I realised how important it was to offer something stylish, but not too expensive to time short mums. The opportunity to design for Mini Boden came up, and I jumped at the chance.

What are your earliest fashion memories – what did you wear?

I lived in Spain when I was young so there are lots of photos of me as a toddler in full flamenco garb: any little girls dream. I also had lots of pretty floral dresses that my grandmother made.

When you think of your childrenswear label, what words spring to mind?

Happy, stylish, comfortable, practical and good quality.

What were your inspirations for the childrenswear SS13 collection?

We love the Arthur Ransome book Swallows & Amazons and the idea of make-believe and running free in the British countryside: woodland animals, flora and fauna.

For summer, we went tropical and imagined ourselves shipwrecked and mesmerized by exotic birds, flamingos, giraffes and tigers.

What are your top three tips for dressing children this spring-summer?

Make it easy and buy outfits. Make them colourful and fun and children will enjoy getting dressed especially if you complete the look with a pair of sparkly shoes – for the girls!

Do you have any set style rules when designing for children?

It has to be either practical or beautiful, and it must be comfortable.

What are your top three must have pieces from the SS13 collection?

-       The Lace Tiered Dress from our Occasion Range

-       Boys Laundered Shirt

-       The vertical stripe Twirly Sun Dress.

Can you give us your hot tip for autumn-winter 2013 childrenswear?

Dress up and make-believe you are a toy soldier in our fab Knitted Dress or have a Ziggy Stardust moment in our boys lightening bolt hoodie.

Do you have a muse when you design your collections?

Not really, we’re a little more down to earth than that. My muses tend to be the lovely fresh faced boys and girls I see playing in the park.

How does it feel when you see a child in one of your designs?

It feels great.


Don't miss... The Junior Meets hub of exclusive interviews, inside scoop interviews and quirky Q&As, with exciting interviewees including: Tommy HilfigerSir Paul SmithStella McCartney and lots of other influential fashion designers, authors and illustrators including Quentin Blake and Jeff Kinney, great business minds including Lord Alan Sugar and, everyone's favourite fashionable frog, Kermit.

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