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Bonnie Baby

Retailers and celebrities alike cannot get enough of Bonnie Baby’s witty take on knits for babies.

Established in 2005 after the birth of founder Tracy Samuel’s daughter, knitwear brand Bonnie Baby has amassed an enormous celebrity following.

The children of Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Bunton, Jools Oliver, Isla Fisher and Charlotte Church have all been spotted in the brand’s signature rainbow bright, cosy cotton/cashmere mixes.

The spring 09 Classic collection consists of 50 pieces, all of which are available on short order. The unisex range, launched towards the end of 2008, features stripes of pale and dove grey with bright rainbow edging.

The brand will also launch two limited edition seasonal collections in 2009. Both the spring and autumn offerings will be fashion led, giving retailers’ injections of new and exciting colourways.

Samuel says: “The idea was to build on sales and to offer something new to our loyal customers who kept reordering from our rolling day-to-day stock collection.”

Trained at Central Saint Martins College in London, Samuel was formerly head knitwear designer at womenswear label Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, so her use of bold, bright colours and quirky detailing comes as no surprise. For spring 09, a marine-inspired theme is used for Bonnie Baby’s pima cotton pieces. Bestsellers include a stripe and jacquard dress and a knit with a pocket motif.

The brand has stayed true to its original concept of designing and manufacturing stylish yet functional high-quality baby clothing at a reasonable price.

“More recently though,” Samuel explains, “we’ve increased the range to meet different price points. We have expanded to include a soft cotton range for customers who want the Bonnie Baby look at a lower price point.”

Prices range from £7 for a hat to £12.50 for a cotton sweater and £13 for a dress. The cashmere prices are £11 for a hat, £18 for a sweater and £21 for a playsuit. Bonnie Baby sits alongside brands such as Juicy Couture Baby, Burberry and Petit Bateau.

Its transactional website brings in around 5% of sales and the brand has 100 
UK stockists including Selfridges in London, Children’s Salon in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and Vanilla Bloom in Edinburgh, as well as 80 doors worldwide.

Samuel explains that Bonnie Baby is talking to retailers in the US which she views as the next market to look at. “The dollar price is down so the phone has been ringing from the States recently. There is definitely a market there. But there is no point in getting our fingers burnt or in rushing. We are very much at the planning stage.”

She adds: “The ideal is to find a distribution partner that we can work with. We want to  continue working with the best department stores and independent retailers to maintain a clear brand identity and help consolidate our position in the marketplace.”

Essentials

180: Number of doors worldwide

50: Number of pieces in the Classic collection

£21: Price of a cashmere playsuit

Four: Number of years since the brand’s launch

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