Here at House of Coco we are forever on the hunt for the next #Girlboss. Whether that be someone that is making waves in the fashion industry or, like Rachael Attwood, in the childrenswear industry.
The Great British Baby Company creates luxury apparel and accessories for young children, using the finest British materials and craftsmanship. It specialises in finely tailored outerwear, combining modern cuts and innovative child-friendly design with the best of British style. As a brand, The Great British Baby Company honours British heritage whilst celebrating the vibrancy of youth today,, bridging the gap between the past and the present for future generations.
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I first got the inspiration to launch the brand back in 2014. I noticed a gorgeous little girl’s coat when I was out on a shopping trip with my then one year-old daughter. I turned over the price tag, and I was shocked to see that the coat was thousands of pounds despite clearly bring mass-produced in the Far East, using synthetic material. I launched The Great British Baby Company because I wanted to build a luxury childrenswear brand that creates pieces from premium fabrics, that hand finishes all its garments, and that stands for something more than just cloth and thread. I’m sentimental. I’ve always liked traditional British tailoring and flicking through vintage fashion magazines. I decided that I would create pieces that are made in Britain from British materials, and that brought the story of Britain’s textile production heritage to the next generation. It didn’t make sense to me to start a brand based on British style that didn’t also invest in British manufacturing.
Whats your background?
I trained as a historian of modern Britain. Not the boring type that wears tweed jackets with leather elbow patches; the type that is interested in how people lived, what they thought about things, and what they wore. I’ve also always had a sideline in fashion design. I come from a family of London tailors and ever since I can remember I have designed and made clothes in my spare time. The Great British Baby Company is a fusion of my profession and my passion for both fine tailoring and craftsmanship. I suppose that is why the brand looks to the past for inspiration and is so committed to preserving traditional materials, skills, and industries.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
I oversee the day-to-day running of the company and design the brand’s mainline, but I’m helped by other pattern cutters, graders, and many talented makers.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
It’s been challenging building a brand that is unprecedented. When I first started The Great British Baby Company, the brand was unique in the luxury childrenswear market. I had no way to gauge if the pieces that I intended to produce would be successful, whether people would buy in to the heritage behind the brand, and the very modern ‘Britishness’ that is stands for. I took a leap into the dark. There are a few more lights turned on now though.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
Most of my colleagues in academic have no idea that I own a luxury childrenswear brand, and most people who know I own a luxury childrenswear brand have no idea that I’m a historian.
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Across the world. I am in the process of expanding the brand’s customer base overseas. We have had a fair amount of interest in our coats in the Asia Pacific region and in the United States.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
I love the responses that we’ve had from parents and children about both our pieces and the brand as a whole. Our customers seem to love the fact that there is a story sewn into our clothing, and that, in taking the decision to buy one of our pieces, they are getting true luxury with substance.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
All three cities have been my ‘home’ at some time and have played an important part in my life. I spent a long summer exploring all that Manhattan had to offer. I lived for years in Paris (and met my husband there). I studied in London for nearly a decade and still work there. So I’ll sit on the fence and say all three cities, and I’d add Brighton to the list, my childhood city and current home, which I think deserves recognition as a fashion capital in its own right!
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Since having my daughter, I love any product that promises to remove dark rings from around my eyes. I’ve never been one to wear a lot of make up so let’s say that my second and third beauty products are confidence and a good sense of humour.
The confidence to express yourself (or whichever version of ‘yourself’) you choose. Style is something that is subjective and personal. The most ‘stylish’ people I know are the ones who are the most confident in their own skin and most sure about the story they want to tell through what they wear.
Best thing about London to you?
The diversity of the buildings, the culture, the people, you name it. For all the years I lived in London, I never got bored of the place. I still love walking around the City and the East End.
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Both, if possible, and in contrasting colours.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Quite a few people have commented on the fact that, for a fashion designer, my style is very simple and uncontrived. And I suppose it is. I would happily wear my brown, and very British Trickers brogue boots every day or one of my beautiful, if quirky, tailored jackets.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
I’ve been given a lot of very good (and very bad) advice over the years but, oddly enough, the piece of advice that has always stuck in my head is “learn how to say ‘no’”. I think that decisiveness and clarity are very important in the fashion industry. It doesn’t get people very far to keep saying ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no’.
Dark chocolate ganache with a strong coffee.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
I am currently designing a full daywear collection for boys and girls up to six years, as well as developing our range of luxury accessories. The brand will always specialise in finely tailored coats but we are becoming a brand for all seasons.
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