WGSN visits Dot to Dot London trade show and spotlights the key kidswear brands bringing their creativity to this central London hub
Now on its sixth edition, London based kidswear trade show Dot to Dot is going from strength to strength. Branching out beyond its UK based brand directory, it now welcomes a growing number of international brands that share in the show’s design-driven ethos, along with a handful of new names to watch out for.
Looking set to outgrow its modest location at Soho’s Vinyl Factory, Dot to Dot is most definitely a kidswear trade show to add to your schedule. Playing host to a roster of independent kidswear brands, the relatively small-scale show fosters a sense of creativity among both established and emerging names that due to the strict on-the-door policy, does not feel compromised at any time. An exclusivity that no doubt enhances the allure of the show, an intimate showcase devoid of the standard booth set-up allows for a free-flowing camaraderie that is almost tangible. In the spirit of the show’s growing brand list, these are some names to take note of:
A Finish label, produced in Portugal, PAPU takes sustainability seriously. Focusing on production processes as well as the lifespan of their garments, their understated, unisex pieces withstand the test of time both aesthetically and in terms of their quality. Name tags inside allow for more up to three different wearers’ names to be written on there, feeding into the brands booming hand-me-down and secondhand following.
Debuting at Dot to Dot, My Nuuba hails from Istanbul, with a carefree collection aimed at both boys and girls from 3-12 years. Made predominantly using a locally sourced fabric called Sile Cloth that becomes softer and lighter with every wash, styles are voluminous and comfortable, tapping into an easy-to-wear bohemian aesthetic. A signature ‘Evil Eye’ print, drawn by the designer’s daughter runs across separates, repelling negative energy to enable free-spirited play and imagination for its wearers.
Using the show as a starting block, launching literally on the first day of Dot to Dot, Bath-based bedding and sleepwear brand Sleepy Doe combines comfort and style to create a capsule collection that is all about a good night’s sleep. Beautifully hand drawn prints are both timeless and unisex, chiming in to the increased demand for genderless looks, while limited edition matching ‘mumma’ pajamas are a fun cross-sell option. In 100% cotton interlock, the range is both luxurious and long-lasting.
Winners of the ‘Little Brands’ competition in partnership with Little Barcelona, Pispiripispo joins Dot to Dot from Spain having launched in 2015. From design duo and couple, Elena Silvestre and Diego Besné, the easy to wear separates for ages 2-9 years allow freedom of movement and creativity, featuring lighthearted illustrations courtesy of the couple’s two daughters, both of whom try their hand at modelling as stars of the S/S 17 campaign. Subscribers can see some more Spanish brands to watch, here.
Having bagged the Dot to Dot London Award for ‘Best Non-Clothing Brand’, freshly launched, UK-based Forivor credits the trade show for an incredibly successful start. Inspiring a passion for nature and storytelling, their luxurious organic bedding sets come complete with a set of character cards that encourage learning and ignite imaginative story sharing at bedtime. Exquisitely illustrated, these have a real heirloom feel, with each bedding set coming in its own equally beautiful bag for sleepovers and safekeeping.
With an undeniably exciting number of brands on their books, it comes as little surprise that Dot to Dot is attracting the attention of their larger counterparts. Co-Chief Nicole Frobusch shared with me that the show’s success has only meant for more external interest and of course the possibilities that this presents. Collaborations might well be on the cards for future seasons, however maintaining what it is that makes Dot to Dot so special will still sit top of the agenda – creating a community among, and giving a voice to both new and established design-driven kids brands. Watch this space.
For full coverage of kids trade shows, subscribers can click here.