16 February 2017
Meet Bubble's A/W17 Rising Star
Bubble has always been a springboard for up-and-coming design talent – and, each season, we present our Rising Star Award to the show’s best new launch-brand. This January, nine labels were shortlisted – but one, Love & Honor, really stood out from the crowd, winning the coveted title and a free stand at Bubble’s next edition. Founder Marie-Claire Windram has been telling us more about her sewing machine, family life beside the sea, and the challenges of launching a kid's brand...
Congratulations on winning our Rising Star Award, Marie-Claire! Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and your background?
Hi! I’m a mum of two children – Honor, 3, and Ted, 7 months - and married to Robin. I grew up in the north east of England, before heading off to do ski seasons in Europe and New Zealand. I spent 10 years in New Zealand running a heliski business, before learning to surf in my 30s. Once I found the sea that was it; I moved to Hossegor, France, met Rob, and the rest is history…
How, when and why was Love & Honor founded?
Love & Honor came about due to a random burst of creativity when I was pregnant with Ted. I’m not sure why, but I hauled out my sewing machine and started making things - pregnancy does strange things to the brain! It’s since snowballed from there, but it does suit us as a family; I really do need to work from home while we have little ones.
Your debut collection is inspired by Rock & Roll, surf-culture and the 70s. Could you tell us a bit more about this, and the brand’s ethos?
The collection is basically a distillation of our life! We live by the beach in a surfing community, and Rob’s a musician - so that’s completely inspired the Love & Honor look. I also love the clothes we wore as children in the 70’s, so there’s a bit of a throwback feel in there too.
Our Rising Star judges loved the fact that your kid’s clothing would appeal to style-conscious parents, too. Who is your typical customer?
Parents who haven’t given up on doing things, despite the time challenges and general exhaustion of daily life with littles. The collection is designed with having fun in mind; playing at the beach or park, camping or heading to a festival. Children really need to be comfy, but we still like them to look good. And all the clothes wash well. I test everything on Honor and Ted. There’s going to be some parent/child twinning happening soon too!
What challenges have you faced in the course of founding Love & Honor?
Lots! Creating childrenswear is completely different to anything I’ve done before, so everything on that side of it is a learning experience. That said, I’ve had lots of support from family and friends, the Instagram community and the industry itself, with things like the Rising Star award really helping to promote the brand. I’ve found the childrenswear community to be a really friendly place.
What does winning our Rising Star Award mean to you?
The Rising Star Award was a complete surprise to me, but a very lovely one. It’s helped enormously with marketing and PR; the exposure we’ve had has been the kick-start Love & Honor needed on our wholesale path. We’ve had some great interest from shops, and our social media has really taken off. It’s really given me the confidence to take the brand further.
What are your plans for the future? Where would you like the brand to be this time next year?
I’m working on the summer collection right now, ready for Bubble in July. I’m really excited about using more colour and some great prints, and also introducing some swimwear. I hope by winter next year we’ll be far more established, and able to have a larger collection, with more stockists worldwide.
Thank you, Marie-Claire! We look forward to seeing you at Bubble S/S18, on the 16 & 17 July!
Are you a Rising Star in the making? Apply for a stand at our next edition...