As the new season rolled in at Playtime, so did a new episode of MilK Awards. Instead of walking down the aisles at Playtime Paris, this season the MilK team scrolled through the Playtime B2B Marketplace to sift through the brands and announce this years winners in the category of Fashion, Green, Crush and Lifestyle.
We interviewed the winners to understand the workings behind their brands. Keep reading to learn about the design process and strategies for business post COVID-19 from the winner of Green MilK Award - LiiLu!
LiiLu is a reflection of simplicity of childhood and pure lifestyle. A sustainably produced clothing brand, LiiLu is celebrated for their use of ultra soft and hypoallergenic 100% organic cotton gauze.
1. How do you approach the creation of a new collection?
Creating a whole new collection is always a very exciting act.
Every collection has a deeper meaning for me and so do the names of the collections.
First of all I have a moodboard containing pictures of my every day inspirations and materials, prints and colours. Second step is to define in which direction we go. We are always trying to find new muslin materials or to interpret them in another way. We develop our own fabrics as well as our prints which is always an exciting moment and completely different than buying already existing fabrics.
The last step is then the design of the styles according to the materials we use. The best part of this work is receiving the samples and seeing them for the first time on the kids when having our shootings . This is the most rewarding step!
2. Where do you find inspiration? What do you believe is a good design for the kid’s industry?
I find inspiration in every day life here at our new second home in Portugal. The nature here at Algarve has very inspiring colours which can be, for example, the colour of a shell at the beach or of dried flowers around the house and also the fisherman’s villages around are very inspiring with their old tiles in all possible colour combinations and prints.
I believe that sustainable yet not trendy clothes with soft, easy to wear and high quality fabrics, can be handed down is a good approach for kids clothes.
3. Due to the absence of physical trade shows this year, how have you modified the sales campaign for SS21? How would the online marketplace help you reach out to buyers?
We are definitely missing the personal face to face contact with our dear clients at the trade shows. It is always so exciting to see their impression directly and to receive their individual feedback on the collection. For SS21 we have extended the visual material by adding looks / combinations to each product + added little videos for each style. That way the clients can get a great impression on how the product looks on the baby/kid/woman. Our technical files and fabric patches are always a big help and go very well together now to present the collection at its best.
We always worked with a B2B online showroom additionally to the presence of the trade shows, so for us it is always a necessary tool. We are in a tight contact with all of our clients and distributors to be able to offer them the best service.
4. In terms of business post COVID-19, how has it affected your overall strategy for the brand?
We have been in a very honest communication towards our retailer from the beginning of the pandemic. That way it allowed us to be updated on the international market and to figure out if we have to take any strategy changes. We have been very lucky to have all suppliers, the production and the warehouse in the same country, which confirmed us that we are pursuing the right strategy.
Of course, we also had some struggles with the lock downs in Portugal which caused delays in shipments, but all in all our customers have been very patient and understanding.
5. Can you tell us what you see in the future for your brand?
I see a great potential for a sustainable brand like ours on the market.
Creating values, being authentic, passionate and living our dream will lead us in the right direction. We believe that this is the future.