In the children’s fashion media landscape, the Pirouette blog is unmissable. Launched in 2009, the blog has become a reference for its business and consumer vision on the children's fashion market. Pirouette was created in order to help young and creative brands to gain media exposure and and business guidance. At the helm of the blog, two women : Florence Rolando, journalist and founder of the blog, and Katie Kendrick, chief editor who took part in Pirouette in 2016.
This summer again, Pirouette will distribute its One-to-Watch Awards in order to celebrate "great design and socially conscious brands" as well as emerging talents, discovered at Dot to Dot London, Playtime Paris and Playtime New-York. Katie Kendrick and Florence Rolando are getting back to basics of those awards, talking about new trends and giving some advice to emerging and creative brands.
Please tell us more about the Pirouette One To Watch Awards? How did you come up with this idea?
Katie : When Florence started Pirouette blog in 2009, it was partly to help young brands gain vital media exposure so that retailers could discover these new creative brands. It’s one of the reasons why I decided to take on Pirouette. The One to Watch Awards are just another way of reinforcing Pirouette’s first principal. There is so much talent out there it’s incredibly important to support emerging labels it keeps the children’s fashion industry evolving. As they say from small acorns large oak tress grow but they need a little help along the way.
Why did you choose to partner with Dot to Dot London, Playtime Paris and Playtime New York?
Florence : These two fairs are in line with Pirouette’s vision as they both focus on helping young creative brands to get more visibility. It’s more than a classical supplier/client relationship. It’s a supportive/team work approach.
You launched the Pirouette One To Watch Awards last winter. How did you choose the first winning brands?
Florence : It was very much instinctive, we did not have to think much. In London, although there were many brands we really liked, Katie and I identified the two that were truly making a difference, bringing something new, at an educational level, and at a social level.
Katie : Paris and New York Playtime are much bigger shows so it was a case of me scouting about the many young brands and then chatting together with Florence, there was lots of lovely creative work but as Florence said the process remained pretty instinctive.
What are the new trends in the children’s fashion and decoration industry?
Katie : For AW17, embroidery is huge, then there are gorgeously chunky knits featuring in multiple collections. Many brands have used wonderful greens ranging from citrus to moss (a personal favourite). There’s also a trend or perhaps a movement by independents to communicate where, how and who is involved in their supply chain. Which can only be a good thing for the children’s fashion industry.
Oh and there’s a shift from monochrome to warm toned retro styling which is really free, fresh and child friendly. Very cool.
What advice would you give to a fresh new brand making its debut?
Florence : One idea is to ask yourself in which stores you dream to see your brand sold. Make a list of those stores, see if you belong to them in terms of style content, quality, price, philosophy. If not, readjust either your products or the list. Then you are ready to launch at a trade show, and you can also better target your customers.
Katie : Yes, and once you have identified your buyers it’s so important for a new brand to contact their targeted buyers and press prior to exhibiting. You may not get a reply, everyone’s really busy but you are so much more likely to have that targeted individual buyer or press pop by your stand if they know you are there. Don’t wait to be discovered !
Check out Pirouette Blog for news and inspirations on children's fashion and stay tuned with us for the One-to-Watch winners at Playtime Paris and New-York this summer !