Sep 26, 2019 | By Jane Boddy
Dec 24, 2018
By Rose Garrod
Kids fashion e-retailer AlexandAlexa is the leading online style destination for kids, sourcing children’s brands from around the globe.
Their S/S 19 press launch saw an explosion of colour through footwear, accessories and apparel, even down to an imaginative balloon installation. Some of the highlights; a bold printed coat from Marni, pastel jacquard patterns from BillieBlush and an array of playful summer accessories. A rainbow wall-of-words included quotes such as ‘let kids be kids’, ‘ just be you’ and ‘you are the future’ to set the all-inclusive mood of the launch.
We caught up with AlexandAlexa’s Jenny Slungaard to talk all things #twinning, Instagram influencers and increasingly-important sustainability issues.
The S/S 19 press launch looks amazing – its so colourful and inspiring. Do you have any new brands or collaborations to keep an eye out for?
We are thrilled to be the European partner for OshKosh, who will be launching with us in February, as well as their partner company, US powerhouse Carter’s. I LOVED my OshKosh dungarees when I was a kid and I’m so delighted to be stocking them, they are such a great brand, great quality that really withstand the rough and tumble of an active child. They fit so well with the AlexandAlexa brand DNA.
We’ve also got Australian brand Hoot Kid and footwear brands Novesta and Igor launching for S/S 19. All are really great brands with a clear brand identity and affordable price points.
In addition, we have developed our second exclusive style with gender neutral Ancient Greek Sandals.
What colors are you seeing emerging for the season?
There is lots of pink within “boys” clothing, with sportswear and casual jersey dominating in all shades of pink, from pale pastel and dusky pink through to coral and more vibrant pinks. Brands like Molo, Wynken and adidas Originals have done this really well, and it looks so fresh and fun.
Blue is also really strong in “girls” clothing with lots of bright blue and navy dresses, swimwear and partywear. Raspberry Plum have featured really beautiful teal and blue tulle dresses in their new collection.
Green, and particularly khaki, is very dominant this season, from highly printed pieces at Tao & Friends and Raspberry Republic to safari styles at IKKS, great for gender neutral dressing.
What are your thoughts on the ‘twinning’ and ‘mini-me’ movement? Do you see this continuing within kids wear or evolving?
The ‘mini-me’ trend has been there for quite some time with the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Chloe launching mini versions of their main line pieces.
However, it’s evolved via sportswear, with brands like Nike and adidas introducing tiny versions of their bestsellers; Stan Smiths, Nike Air Max, as well as tracksuits.
The ‘mini-me’ trend is definitely gathering pace, with brands like Gap, Levi’s, Burberry and Gucci all offering mini versions of key looks from their adult collections, but these are often developed to make them age-appropriate for kids rather than highly stylised adult designs shrunk down.
How do you see social media and kids’ influencers impacting AlexandAlexa as an online retailer? Do you current work with influencers or have any plans to collaborate with any in the future?
We regularly work with influencers, and it’s a key part of our marketing strategy. Customers really want to see how items fit, and get inspired and excited about new collections, small brands or fun outfits, and our great partnerships with influencers are key to this. We always look to long-term partnerships with our influencers, and each project is unique to them. ,Many of them we’ve been working with for years, and they really do feel like good friends which is so special.
How do you feel about gender neutral and inclusive dressing? Which brands are really paving the way in this market?
Gender neutral and inclusive dressing is exactly what we are about, and something we feel so passionate about.
Labels are for clothes and not for children, and it’s so important to let children be who they want to be. Our look books and in-house campaign imagery has always highlighted this, and it’s how our customers shop with us. It’s so great to see so many brands either including unisex designs within their collections, or going down a fully gender neutral route. Scandinavian brands like Mini Rodini and Bang Bang Copenhagen have really driven this, but we are seeing brands like Bobo Choses, Sproet & Sprout and The Animals Observatory developing the concept further, through product and imagery
Streetwear and sportswear has been key within kids wear for some time, how do you see brands moving this forward for the coming seasons?
Sportswear is a huge part of our business, with Nike and adidas really driving the market, but we have seen mainstream brands develop sportswear and streetwear driven lines, like Mini Rodini releasing their sport style retro tracksuits which flew out, and Stella McCartney Kids offering super cool sock boot trainers. This is definitely an area that is growing each season, driven by the dominance that streetwear is having within the adult fashion industry, but also because streetwear and sportswear is so practical for kids. In addition we are seeing great collaborations like the forthcoming Reebok x The Animals Observatory collaboration which I know our customers will love.
With sustainability becoming increasingly important for the whole of the fashion industry, how do you work with your brands and customers to tackle this issue?
Sustainability and ethical issues are a huge concern for us, and something we take very seriously. We were the first premium/luxury kids retailer to ban fur, mohair and angora from all our products, something other kidswear companies are still actively promoting despite attitudes really changing about the industry.
For us, sustainability is about the family chain. Just as we want to prepare our children for the future, we want to prepare the future for them. We are aware of all the challenges of consumption.
We care about wildlife and the planet, so instead of buying corporate gifts, we support The Wildhood Foundation, who are working to stop the poaching of rhinos and elephants mainly in Africa. We sponsor three anti-thief hunting dogs (these were rescue dogs, too) who work to prevent poaching and wildlife trade in the area around Kruger National Park, South Africa.
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