A former buyer for Next and Marks & Spencer is launching a kidswear brand in September, with input from Coast chief executive Kate Bostock.
Philippa Cloete worked under Bostock at M&S as a senior knitwear buyer for three years from 2004-07, and is now receiving mentoring from her former boss for the new brand, which is called Angel & Rocket.
The 50-piece range for girls and boys aged three to 10 years was inspired by Cloete’s daughters and her frustration at the lack of “affordable and more individual” fashion available for children on the high street. Retail prices start at £18 for a graphic T-shirt and range up to £55 for a parka jacket with a detachable lining.
“Everything to my taste for my girls was very high end and expensive so I wanted to create something more affordable yet special. This was mixed with my desire to run my own business, if it’s your own brand you don’t have to compromise,” she said.
Bostock has been involved from the outset and is a “great sounding board”, added Cloete, who left Next, where she was a buying manager, to set up the brand 18 months ago.
“I went to Kate with my proposal and she loved it. It’s great having her input on the approach we should take as she has so much experience in the industry,” she said.
The autumn collection will be available online at www.angelandrocket.com from September 18 and Cloete is in talks with department stores and boutiques to wholesale the brand from spring 15.
“We would ideally like to be positioned in Selfridges, that’s the level of the market we are placing ourselves in. We are also targeting a few high-end kidswear boutiques.”