Friday 29 May 2015

Be My Baby

It may be less than a year old - but, thanks to its playful, hand-drawn prints, new Bubble brand BBbambino already has a strong and thoroughly unique identity. We've been talking Kickstarter campaigns, ethical fashion and textile design with the label's founder, Betty Bonhard...

Betty, how long have you been a designer? Could you tell us a bit about your womenswear label, Betty Bonhard?

I finished my MA Fashion degree in Edinburgh in 2010 and in Prague in 2011. After that, I moved to London and did an internship with Christopher Kane in 2011, then set up my label Betty Bonhard in 2012. Betty Bonhard is a womenswear label with a playful yet edgy style. Every collection has its own digitally printed materials designed by myself. The range is mainly dresses, skirts, tops and leggings in limited editions. Betty Bonhard is also designed and made in EU, partly from organic fabrics as well.

Why did you decide to begin designing childrenswear? When, where and how was BBbambino founded?

During the 3 years of running Betty Bonhard, I’ve been asked many times to design for children by my clients and friends. It’s probably because my style is very decorative and playful, and the textile design I create is so suitable for childrenswear. I guess I had to become a mother to finally start working in childrenswear, and luckily it brings me huge pleasure and joy.

My first ideas came in summer 2014, chatting with my friends in countryside and surrounded by our children running around. In October 2014 we started working properly on the brand identity, searching the gaps inthe market and looking for the best organic fabrics suppliers. After endless debates with my husband Phil about the brand name and philosophy, we decided to direct the company together. 

Our ultimate goal was to fund the first collection on Kickstarter. After a 4 months of gruelling work, we launched our BBbambino kickstarter campaign in March 2015. With the great support of our backers, we were funded one month later - which allowed us to manufacture the first Corgi collection and be part of Bubble in July.

Could you tell us a bit about the brand's philosophy?

After months of childrenswear market research I was sure about one thing: I want to design ethical, environmentally friendly fashion in the EU. As a designer with a fine arts background I am very passionate about drawing my own fabric designs. The result is hand drawn, digitally printed clothing on GOTS certified organic cotton, which feels great and gentle on children’s skin.

BBbambino clothing is designed to be a special, artistic piece in a child’s wardrobe, which lasts for a long time. We will also introduce GOTS certified cotton BBbambino basics at Bubble. This range of simple, more affordable garments, which could be combined with printed pieces and makes a stylish and comfortable wardrobe for your children.

Your prints are all hand-drawn - could you tell us more about your creative process? What inspired your debut collection? 

BBbambino’s first collection is about Corgis. The main character is Ollie, our own Cardigan Corgi, who’s almost 3years old. We’ve had many adventures with him and his corgi friends from our neighbourhood. I named the garments after some of them!

My colleague and I hand draw each Corgi, flower, stripe or balloon and I create the patterns from the drawings in Photoshop.

I am very excited about the next project - the only thing I can reveal now is that it will be a new story full of beautiful creatures and happenings. 

If you could give one piece of advice to designers thinking of starting a childrenswear label, what would it be? 

Don’t copy anyone. Find your one speciality and concentrate on that. Be yourself.

How are you preparing for Bubble London?

Everything is about Bubble right now! We are going to manufacture the Kickstarter rewards and show samples in June. We are working on marketing and extending our list of important buyers, boutiques and magazines to contact and invite to Bubble.

We can't wait to meet you, Betty!

If you'd like to see more from BBbambino, you can apply for your free ticket to Bubble London here...

Friday 22 May 2015

Play It Again

Psst...have you heard the news? Replay & Sons is making a welcome return to Bubble London this season! And, if you can't wait to see what the iconic brand has in store for S/S16, you won't want to miss its current collection...

Replay's S/S15 offer is a typically cool affair, featuring sun-bleached colours, beach-ready denim and bold motifs. 

There are pop-art print sweaters and t-shirts for girls (we love those Lichtenstein-style lips), and Hawaiian-inspired florals for the boys. 

Little details - from frayed hems to metal hardwear - lend the whole collection a cool, contemporary edge. 

Catch the brand's S/S16 range at Bubble London this July! You can apply for a free ticket here...

Thursday 21 May 2015

Flower Power

With the Chelsea Flower Show now well underway, we've been thinking about all things floral! Here are four very different takes on the enduring spring/summer trend...

Bold and Bright

We love these bright daisy-print dungarees from Piccalilly, a Bubble brand with serious eco-credentials. Founder Hannah Evans worked as a buyer for an ethical import company, before deciding to launch her own organic babywear label. Today, she and her team create fun children's clothing from organic and fairly traded cotton. We can't resist those buttercup-yellow Project Jelly wellies, either! 

On Trend

The clashing prints in BBBambino's debut collection are seriously on-trend; think pastel checks and cool, contemporary florals. Founder Betty Bonhard (formerly a womenswear designer) hand-draws the brand's distinctive graphics, which are then printed onto soft, organic cotton. Stay tuned for more on this exciting new Bubble brand...


While it doesn't feature florals in the traditional sense, we're big fans of Sand Dollar's jungle range. Frogs, ferns and carnivorous plants - what's not to love? Founded by mother-of-four Maureen Dolan, the Irish brand specialises UV swimwear for 5 - 12 year olds. It places emphasis on both sun-safety and design, creating protective tops, shorts, and swim sets that children will want to wear. 

Vintage Blooms

Australian girlswear label Tinker and Boo marries vintage inspired florals (like that stunning cherry blossom print) with modern design elements. Think daisy-print jacquards, floral bomber jackets and full-skirted, 50s-inspired dresses.

Which take on spring/summer florals is your favourite? You can catch them all at Bubble London July 2015; apply for a ticket here!

Friday 15 May 2015

In the Details

What makes the perfect party dress? If you ask us, it's all about finishing touches - which is why we love new Bubble brand Le Mu!

The newly-launched UK label creates elegant, high-end occassionwear for girls aged two to nine; think layered tulle skirts, drop waists, and a palette of pretty pastels. 

Le Mu uses high-quality materials, and finishes garments by hand - but we think it's the little details that really elevate its skirts, dresses and accessories.  

Its debut collection features jewelled belts, sequinned hems, removable collars and hand embroidered flowers - not to mention a range of matching accessories. 

You can catch Le Mu at Bubble London in July. Apply for your free ticket here

Sunday 3 May 2015

This Week's Best Bits: Royal Baby Special

Happy Bank Holiday - and congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whose daughter was born yesterday morning!

The Telegraph told us everything we needed to know about the new princess - including who was responsible for her very first outfit, a soft woolen shawl (Nottingham-based company G.H Hurt & Son, if you're wondering!) 

And what about George's outfit? Smallish Magazine revealed that the little prince wore pieces from Amaia Kids and Bubble brand Rachel Riley while visiting his new sister in hospital. 

CWB, meanwhile, took a look at the 'royal baby effect' - and how savvy brands could capitalise on it. 

Even we succumbed to royal baby fever, putting together this 'homecoming' edit. 

Just one question remains now - what will William and Kate name their new arrival? 

Friday 1 May 2015

Special Delivery

It's been the question on everyone's lips since Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting their second child: what will baby wear when he or she leaves hospital? Ahead of the big day, we've put together a royal homecoming edit...

When Prince George left St Mary's Hospital on 23 July, he was wrapped in one of aden + anais' muslin swaddles. The bird print blanket promptly sold out, cementing George's status as a royal style icon. 

Soft, durable and breathable, the aden + anais cotton wrap (which doubles as a pram and feeding cover, burping cloth and tummy-time blanket) was certainly the perfect choice for HRH's first car journey. 

In fact, he couldn't have been in better hands. Founded by Aussie mum-of-four Raegan Moya-Jones, aden + anais has been designing traditional cotton swaddles since 2006. Today, it also creates sleeping bags, towels and multi-purpose security blankets. 

The brand is even set to unveil its first layette range - featuring muslin rompers, body suits and tunic top and trouser sets - at Bubble S/S16. 

And what about the new arrival? Will HRH be going home in another aden + anais swaddle? We'll have to wait and see...

A homecoming outfit should be supremely comfortable - and Petit Oh!'s bodies, t shirts, sleepsuits and layette pieces are some of the softest and most breathable available. 

The Spanish brand uses Pima Cotton, which has been grown in Peru for 5000 years. Fine and uniquely resistant, this hand-gathered fibre produces its own wax - making it soft enough for babies' delicate skin. 

The end product is comfortable, practical and stylish, too: think spots, subtle details, and soft, neutral colours. We're sure Kate - who's renowned for her elegant, understated style - would love that striped romper!

But will the new arrival be a boy or a girl? Either way, Baby Acorn has it covered. 

The all-new Bubble brand creates coordinating, unisex babywear in original prints and fun colours (pink and blue are strictly off limits). Customers can choose from four woodland themes: Acorn Dot, Forest Fox, Honey Bee and Woodland Sunshine. 

What's more, Baby Acorn's sleepsuits, hats, bibs and shawls are designed and manufactured exclusively in Britain. We'd love to see the new royal baby leaving St Mary's in a home-grown brand!

Catch aden + anais, Petit Oh! and Baby Acorn at Bubble London in July.