fashion

Spotlight on children’s fashion: Mini Rodini and Little Indians


Although the baby and children’s fashion industry has also
experienced a very unpredictable period, there are still a multitude
of positive developments within this industry. For example, some
children’s fashion brands have successfully realised international
growth and sustainable production is now increasingly becoming the
norm.

The power of storytelling

Originality is at the foundation of the sustainable Swedish
children’s fashion brand Mini Rodini. Creative Director Cassandra
Rhodin founded the brand back in 2006 and focussed on diversity as an
important value. Much of the clothing is unisex. “Cassandra draws the
prints herself, designs the collection, comes up with the storytelling
concept behind the designs, shoots most of the photographs and has
created the entire Mini Rodini universe”, Catherina Barnard, PR
Manager at Mini Rodini, informs FashionUnited in writing. Mini Rodini
is currently being sold by 350 retailers across the world, the brand
stores in Stockholm and London and the [international] webshop. “We
work with retailers who understand our brand and who can add value to
our brand – and it’s obviously fantastic if they’re strong in
e-commerce too. Our retailers care about responsibly produced clothing
and truly love our brand.”

In addition to four fashion collections, Mini Rodini also launches
approximately two small upcycling collections every year and, on
average, one ‘co-lab-collection’, in collaboration with another
company, like the Veja sneaker brand, to name but one. “We exclusively
work with partners who can realise our standard of responsible
production”, Barnard tells us about this strategy. “As was the case
with the collaboration with Sea Shepherd, an international, non-profit
marine preservation organisation which Cassandra was eager to support.
Another example: as a child she wore Adidas shoes by Stan Smith, so
when Adidas Original approached her for a collaboration, she
absolutely loved the idea and we said yes.” Barnard refers to this
strategy as a fantastic way of meeting new customers and creating
strong collections and stories. “We make sure we maintain control over
the creative process, as this is what’s in our DNA.”

Focus on sustainable production

Mini Rodini can look forward to a bright future, with a large
international fan base to build on. “Wherever we go, we find that our
clothing and values are very attractive to modern, conscious parents
across the world. So it’s simply a matter of continuing with what
we’re doing and increasing our brand awareness”, Barnard concludes.
The fact that the focus on sustainable production is a true golden
formula is also apparent from the Dutch brand Little Indians’ success
story. Founder Vanessa Erasmus told FashionUnited during a telephone
interview that she was part of the target audience herself when she
launched the brand in 2014: “I follow my own taste and go looking for
the softest fabrics, like organic cotton. At the time sustainable
fashion was still considered drab, but that’s definitely no longer the
case now. I want to use Little Indians to demonstrate that you can
produce responsibly without compromising on design.”

As is the case with many entrepreneurs, Erasmus started off working
from home. The brand was off to a flying start: Little Indians had 75
shops within a month and requests were even coming in from America.
“The growth stabilised after a little while. I held off working with
local sales agents for as long as I could, as I wanted to make sure I
first had all the processes exactly as I wanted them. Selling is one
thing, but there’s a great deal more to running a successful business.
Steady growth is much better than growing too fast.” Little Indians is
now active in 25 countries. Erasmus works with agents in Belgium,
Spain, Italy and, from the start of next season, in Germany too. She
is now also in talks with an agent from Taiwan.

Little Indians

From fashion to lifestyle

It’s quite remarkable that Little Indians managed to significantly
expand its range during the corona period and is now increasingly
becoming the lifestyle brand which Erasmus has been aiming for from
the very start. In addition to the fashion collections – two every
year, around a certain theme – the brand also launches interim drops
with matching products. This includes accessories like water shoes and
sunglasses in summer, a newborn collection and the back to school
collection with backpacks. “This means we can now be found in a
variety of different places, from children’s boutiques to bag shops
and even large supermarkets. I still often visit customers to ask what
does and doesn’t work and I subsequently incorporate their comments in
the collection. One specific highlight is that we opened our very
first own shop last March in Westfield Mall of The Netherlands in
Leidschendam, where we can really show off our brand identity. I would
never have been able to predict how much I would have achieved at the
start of this corona crisis!”

This article was translated from Dutch



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