THE MONDAY SUPPLEMENT: FASHION: STYLE THAT'S CHILD'S PLAY.
A 'non-exploitative' fashion label launched in Warwickshire is attracting a massive following across the UK with its 'timeless' cutting- edge designs. Managing director David Stanley (left) talks about the ethos behind the company, Child clothing.
CHILD clothing was launched two years ago in the tiny Warwickshire village of Bidford-on-Avon.
Now in its seventh season, the label supplies 100 independent stockists in the UK.
Child's Autumn/Winter 2003 collection is split into two lines - Peace Tribe and Japonica.
Child clothing has its roots in a fashion shop called Hub Stratford and now has its very own boutique in London's trendy Carnaby Street.
Managing director David Stanley, aged 55, who lives in Welford-on-Avon, near Stratford, said: "The roots of the organisation are Christian. Our vision is to create a label which bucks the trend of much of fashion for young people in the sense of being non-exploitative.
"Our perception, from running our own clothes shop in Stratford, was that fashion has more impact on this generation of 18 to 30-year-olds than music.
"It influences young people very strongly about how they feel about themselves. Many fashion labels like Porn Star and FCUK have connotations of sexuality, which we feel all women are not comfortable with.
"It's very much about creating a label which is fresh, creative and actually designed to make real women feel good about themselves.
"You do not have to be as skinny as a model."
In the past months Child clothing has been featured in a wide range of fashion magazines, from New Woman, B magazine to OK!
Business consultant David said: "We are a new company and it is exciting to be taken seriously by the industry.
"But the area which is most important to us is customer feedback - and customers tell us they love the designs.
"Although we originally aimed the at the 18 to 30-year-old bracket we do find alot of older fashion-conscious women are buying the clothes."
Child's fashion designer Lyndsay Pressdee works from her fashion studio in London.
But the company's main offices and warehouse are based in Bidford-on- Avon.
Father-of-four David said: "We also run a shop in Stratford called Hub aimed at young people. Our desire was to set up where young people could meet as well as shop.
"Because fashion is such a strong influence on the young generation we felt setting up a fashion label was a worthy cause. We had a number of friends who had been in the industry and set up a creative team of around a dozen people.
"In December 2002 we opened a shop in Carnaby Street. To be there sitting alongside the other cutting-edge labels is a sign we are confident.
He added: "Another part of our ethos is a sense of social responsibility. We manufacture in the UK, Portugal and India. We select our suppliers very carefully making sure they are responsible and treat their staff well."
David is married to Meryl, Child's company secretary.
The couple have four children - Lydia, aged 26, Miriam, aged 24, Bethany, aged 20 and 17-year-old Joel.
All three of his daughters are big fans of Child clothing.
David said: "They love it and so does my wife. You don't wear Child if you want to be really outrageous or edgy, you wear it because its timeless, stylish and comfortable."
LYNDSAY PRESSDEE is Child's fashion designer
The 30-year-old, who originally comes from Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, did a fashion and textile degree at Ravensbourne College of Design in London.
She said: "I set up my own business designing clothes and ran a stall on Greenwich market for two years.
"I started selling to Hub in Stratford and that's how I made the connection with David.
"I always like to make clothes you can wear - they are not just for young, thin people. It's really exciting but its been a long, hard slog. The best thing is when you see someone wearing one of your designs.
"With the Autumn/Winter selection we want to take a more casual look and combine it with eveningwear. With Peace Tribe we have taken the military tribal theme. It includes a pink damask trench coat which looks quite antique-y. We are trying to move more from frilly feminine to quite fitted shapes, with applique and detailing."
1 Simone velour jacket, Miranda feather stripe trousers 2 Ingrid damask coat and Fifi striped denim trousers 3 Ellie camisole with suede ties and Tara suede panel skirt 4 Grace wideneck printed top, Pascal patterned skirt with belt 5 Edo off the shoulder sleeveless top, Justine applique skirt and belt
LOCAL STOCKISTS: Revive, 18 The Burges, Coventry; Revive 31 Warwick Street, Leamington; Veuve, 1& 2 Riverside, Stratford; Hub, Rother Street, Stratford.
HIGH STREET VISION: Fuji wrap dress and Millicent off-the-shoulder sleeveless top
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Apr 7, 2003|
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