Feb 08, 2017 | By WGSN Insider
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Our “love at first sight” began with one of the most beautifully designed childrenswear brands we have ever laid eyes on. On January 2011 in Florence, Italy they showed the Pale Cloud collection for the first time at Pitti Bimbo (the International fair of childrenswear). The brand expanded and was selling in more than 20 countries. It was seen on celebrities, and garnered multiple awards along the way.
So why are they closing shop on December 30th? Our Senior Editor, Erin Rechner, chats with the C.E.O of Pale Cloud, Ian Reynolds to get the scoop.
You instantly stood out in the crowd to us, which is a hard thing to do in the realm of kidswear and harder yet, the better market of girls. Was it hard to compete with all the well-established designers who have been swimming in the pool of kids clothing design recently? Do you think that impacted the difficulties you ensued in the market?
We were delighted with the initial reaction to our designs and the universe in which we presented them. We never compromised our core brand values of design, combined with quality of materials and finishing. Unfortunately, garments with detailed design and high quality materials are more expensive to produce and too many consumers prefer to opt for a simpler garment with a well-known brand name printed on the front.
What are some takeaways from your journey that could help someone else who jumps into the business of kidswear design in 2016?
Each designer’s journey is different and what worked or did not work for us could be the opposite for them. For longevity, we would always recommend being honest in every respect of your business, especially to yourself.
Why are you closing up shop after producing some of the most sought after and well-designed kidswear clothing in the industry?
We have worked very hard for five years, investing all of our profits back into Pale Cloud. The huge numbers of adult brands entering the kids market has limited our growth. They bring with them very deep pockets and strong, recognisable brands that we found it increasingly difficult to compete with. Stores have limited shelf space and given the choice of stocking us or the newest brand for kids from a rock star designer, they will always go for the commercially safe option.
Is there something you look back on now and would have done differently?
We are happy with the choices we made and were ‘mostly’ honest to ourselves. The issues we have are out of our control and are a symptom of massive corporations dominating most market areas. If we were starting again today, would we take the same path? Probably not.
You and your wife Marion are obviously extremely talented (who else can pull off laser-cut leather in such an exquisite fashion??) and brilliant at what you do, any plans for your next move?
Thank you! We took a month off to travel around Bali to try and clear our heads. We are back in the office now contemplating the future and still open to ideas and opportunities.
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