Singer-songwriter, podcaster and now mum of two Jessie Ware has collaborated with George Reddings, an award-winning childrenswear designer (who worked with Jools Oliver on Little Bird at Mothercare) to launch a baby and kidswear brand for children aged 0-8 years called anyware. We caught up with Jessie to find out more…
Q: What is the ethos of anyware?
A: We wanted to create a range that would last and that kids could wear for longer. People are over-buying and we have to change the way we think about clothes, especially for our children.
Q: Why now?
A: I’ve always loved clothes and it just became far more fun when I became a mum, but over time I noticed how much I had bought for my daughter that she had already grown out of and I want to build a collection that would challenge the over- buying we all do and that I have totally been a perpetrator of. Then I met George and it all fell into place. Between us I think we’ve come up with something really special.
Q: How did you and George find each other?
A: George and I were introduced by a mutual friend and it all seemed to fall into place. George has so much experience and we had some great brainstorming sessions, between us we have created something I am so proud of. It’s a great partnership and I have learnt so much from her. We have a lot of fun and she has been extremely patient at working around my crazy schedule.
Q: What was your inspiration for the look of the collection? How did you choose the colours, fabrics, silhouettes?
A: We were inspired by so many things, classic minimal shapes, 80’s basics that I wore as a kid, that we all wore for playing or smart occasions, it didn’t matter, they were just comfy and well worn, loose but sophisticated cuts and beautiful feeling fabrics, along with the fact that I bought way too many clothes for my daughter first time around! We wanted to make pieces that grow with the child and aren’t limited to a 6-month prescribed size window. These are to be worn and worn and then shared again.
Q: What’s the design process? Who does what?
A: It’s really equal with George and I. George is a phenomenal designer and I am so lucky to work with her as I’ve learnt so much. She’s so talented and incredibly respectful and enthusiastic towards all my ideas. I feel we have created timeless pieces that we are very proud of. We make a great team. The plan is to get the word out about anyware, for people to love it, and then we keep getting to do it.
Q: The collection has a pared back aesthetic that we really love – was this the vision from day one?
A: Thank you! I love simple, classic over-sized shapes that are easy to wear and like the clothes I had back in the 80s and 90s, I loved them for years. I thought it would be great to have a kids collection that was timeless. We wanted colour, but nothing too bright and clashy and no big graphic slogans but more of a palette that parents would love too and that can be worn all year round.
Q: Did you and George connect from day one?
A: Absolutely. George is so wonderful and enthusiastic but equally, knows so much and I felt like I was learning from her from our first cup of tea together. She’s incredible and patient with me! And somehow we always seem to agree.
Q: How do you fire ideas to each other? Do you have a Whatsapp group?
A: It was an iPhone shared album for a good 6 months then I messed that up by changing to a Google phone so now’s it Whatsapp.
Q: Where do you meet up to hash out your designs?
A: Initially it was at my house. Poor George would schlep over. But then we love to link up at Caravan in King’s Cross for a morning meet up over eggs.
Q: Is there a lot of coffee, snacks, music? Can you tell us the exact recipe please? ie what food and drink and what music gets the creative juices flowing?!
A: Coffee, juices and usually a sad looking biscuit. I think I offered George a lactation cookie last week.
Q: What’s your son’s most worn piece from the current collection?
A: My son’s too little to be in it yet, but my daughter is loving the striped tops and bandana neck ties with the linen playsuit.
Q: You recently had a wonderful home birth Jessie. What took you down that path?
A: My husband was born at home and my mother in law had always spoken so fondly of it. I had heard wonderful things about the Homerton homebirth team and it couldn’t have been truer. They were incredible and I felt so supported throughout my pregnancy.
Q: What’s the best thing about having your baby at home?
A: How quick it was. And getting into bed surrounded by the midwives, my husband and doula with our beautiful boy having a glass of champers and chocolate.
Q: How has your daughter taken to being a big sister?
A: She loves him but isn’t so keen on me at the moment. I’m hoping that passes. Currently if I kiss her she says ‘that’s enough kisses’. Which breaks my heart!!
Q: How has the reaction to the new collection been so far?
A: So brilliantly. It’s amazing to see my friends and strangers in our brand and it looks gorgeous. We can’t wait for the anyware tribe to grow!
Q: How do you feel when you see kids wearing your clothes?
A: It’s so exciting to see a happy child running around in our clothes, it’s a dream come true.
Q: What was your favourite ever outfit when you were little?
A: I used to love wearing my red Kickers boots and Osh Kosh dungarees but I also was a massive fan of my Blossom style crushed velvet hat.
Q: What can we look forward to seeing next?
A: that would be telling ……we have lots of big plans for anyware but for now you will have just to watch this space;)