Wednesday 23 September 2015

Oh my goodness!

High-end girlswear brand Oh...My! has gone from strength-to-strength since winning our A/W15 Rising Star award. Ahead of its return to Bubble, we've been talking challenges, sneak-peeks and sold-out collections with designer Anna Davies...

Hi Anna! Firstly, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

After graduating with a degree in textile design, I started out as a junior womenswear designer - until the opportunity arose to design within the childrenswear department. I have always enjoyed designing childrenswear - I love the way you can be a little more adventurous and playful. 

So, of course, when I was approached with the opportunity to head-up the design for Oh...My!, I jumped at the chance!

 How have things changed for Oh...My! since your debut appearance at Bubble in February 2015?

It's been a very busy and exciting year! We've been working on boosting our presence in the market, and as a result have gained interest from many international and UK stockists. 

Congratulations! What was the best thing about winning our Rising Star award?

It's given us status, and the confidence to boldly launch ourselves into the high-end kidswear market. It's also given us much-needed exposure and publicity, enabling us to be on the radar of more stockists and buyers. Bubble has always been at the forefront of launching new, up-and-coming brands, and we will always be thankful to it for setting us off on the right foot. 

Your debut range recently sold out in Harvey Nichols. Could you tell us a bit more about this?

Yes! This was such an exciting start to our first season. Not only to stock in Harvey Nichols but to sell out was a huge success for us. We are thrilled!

What does the design process entail?

Designing for Oh...My! keeps me on my toes! There is never a dull moment. There is a constant trial and error process throughout, until we eventually come up with a final product that we're happy with. 

When designing a collection, I always focus directly on researching trend forecasts for the following season. Moodboards are the next step - they are great for presenting potential ideas and displaying new fabrics, colours and styles. 

Following this, I will put fabric and garment shapes together. I tend to design four design stories, with ten items in each story. When designing collections, I purposely design items that can be mixed-and-matched across the range. 

To finish off the process, I work with my lovely pattern cutter and machinist, who create the patterns and make the beautiful first samples. A long, but oh-so rewarding process! 

What's the single biggest challenge you've faced as a new-to-market brand?

Being one among a sea of great kidswear brands, our challenge, as with any new brand, is to get our name noticed in the marketplace. Focussing not only on creating a quality product but also communicating our brand identity is important in terms of our place in the massive world of childrenswear! The possibility of collaborating with some of our favourite British brands in the near future is something we hope will make us more identifiable among our target customer. Watch this space!

What are you working on at the moment? Could you tell us a bit more about your next range?

At the moment we are working on our A/W16 collection. I don't want to give too much away, but think luxurious fabrics, cute, playful details, and fresh bespoke prints - and, of course, that air of English charm that runs through every Oh...My! collection. We are currently preparing for our A/W16 photoshoot, and a sneak-peek will be revealed in November. 

Why have you decided to return to Bubble in January 2016?

This is our third time exhibiting at Bubble, and we are hoping for yet another successful show. It's such a creative and lively event, and gives us the chance to really showcase our new collection and talk to potential new customers. It's also a a great time to talk to more established brands, to gain a better market insight. We are looking forward to seeing what Bubble London A/W16 has in store for us!

And we're looking forward to finding out what Oh...My! has is store for us! See you at the show, Anna. 

Fancy exhibiting alongside Oh...My!? Or even entering our Rising Star award? Apply for a stand at the A/W16 edition here...

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