You no more have to move from one shop to the other looking for clothes and accessories for your children. Two friends, Neha Sachar Mittal and Karina Rajpal, have together launched a specialized outlet for children, Kidology.
6to16 spoke to the two women about their journey so far.
Karina Rajpal (left) and Neha Sachar Mittal (right)
How did the idea of having a special segment for kids come up. And why? How important is this segment so far as fashion is concerned.
Neha: Kidology was conceptualized in 2010 as a one-stop destination for kids’ occasion wear. Kidology has been referred to as a pioneer in the kids fashion occasion wear segment. Before us no brand had really experimented with designer and/or occasion wear for kids in retail and this was one of the initial challenges which we faced as we had to change the mindset of consumers. We took the initiative, pushed the envelope, tried to change people’s mindset.
Karina: Today things have come a long way as consumers are aware of their options and have a higher willingness to spend on kids’ apparel too. Platforms such as India Kids Fashion Week where Kidology has participated both as a brand and in an advisory capacity, which didn’t exist when we started, demonstrate the direction in which the kids’ apparel segment is heading. In terms of product – we introduced a unique concept for kids, which focused on design, comfort and convenience.
How difficult is to dress kids?
Neha: Kids today even as young as two year olds know what they like and what they want to wear! As we mentioned, it is difficult to find good occasion wear options in the market and that’s why we have specialized in this segment. As a brand, Kidology focuses on providing clothes which kids feel special in whether a pretty princess or a dashing prince! We decided to develop an Indian fashion brand for kids that would appeal to the growing segment of discerning consumers in India and abroad. Our collection includes Indian, western and fusion inspired garments and accessories for girls and boys from newborn to pre-teens. Colors, styling, fabrics and embellishments are all major considerations that go into our product. We are on trend with what is happening internationally and yet there is a classic element that we maintain across our product line, which makes our designs timeless. We also provide customized and one of a kind outfits for theme parties, which are also difficult to find.
Do you need specialist designers when it comes to kids’ clothes?
Neha: Our in-house team has experience in designing and manufacturing specifically for kids. Next to style, the most important element for kids is fit and comfort. When we launched our label, we spent a great amount of time developing our sizing strategy. Making kids clothes is not as simple as making mini versions of adult styles. Key Indian designers, including Gauri&Nainika, Gaurav Gupta and Siddhartha Tytlerdesign exclusive kids’ collections that are based on their sensibility but in coordination with our in-house design team to ensure child friends elements are always incorporated.
Are there any criteria for designing clothes for children, for example, concept, comfort, cloth…
As we mentioned, we pay attention to detail and provide products, which are not only stylish but also comfortable and have a good fit. Child friendly elements such as the use of non-abrasive fabrics and adjustable features allow children to feel good and enjoy themselves while wearing our garments.
Conventionally, kids outgrow their clothes and most parents feel their garments should be priced competitively. Your take on the same.
Neha: Being a parent and a creator of kids garments helps me see both sides. Yes kids outgrow and therefore the longevity of their garments is of utmost importance butthings are a little different when it comes to occasion wear. In our experience parents do not want to compromise on the look for special occasions and are also comfortable paying the price for it. For eg: when it comes to daily wear you can fold sleeves and hems and actually don’t mind if the garments fall a little big on the kid’s body but if the child is all dressed up for a party or birthday then you do want the garment to fit nicely and also look good.
Is designing for girls more challenging or for boys?
It is definitely more challenging to design for boys. For girls there is so much we can experiment with and there are so many different looks possible but for boys often designs end up looking the same or very similar to the previous ones. It is here that we have to work extra hard to create fresh and innovative styles that are functional, comfortable yet on trend and stylish.
Where do you sell at the moment, and what are the future plans. What about e-commerce portal.
The label launched with a flagship store at DLF Promenade Mall in VasantKunj, New Delhi. Within India, Kidology is sold from multi-designer stores including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ludhiana and Kolkatta. Kidology also retails through its own website www.kidology.in and a number of online stores. Internationally Kidology has a presence in multi-designer stores in Dubai, Singapore, Sydney, London and New York.
What are the current trends in kids wear.
For kids some trends never fade and are timeless; like flowers in all shapes and forms always work for girls and tuxedo suits are classics for boys. Having said that, our product road map as such will continue to stay on trend with what’s happening both domestically and internationally – for example, this festive season our ethnic collection brings the traditional craft of Ikkat affront in a modern avatar.
In more detail the trends for fall/ winter 2015 are:
Girls: 3d frills and organza flowers on shift or fit and flare dresses. Peplums and trench coats are still in vogue. We tried to reinvent them by adding frills and fur collars. We also have some stellar gowns and dresses with vintage lace details in jewel tones like emerald green, royal blue and ruby pink.
Indian: We have done cropped blazers with lehngas, plazo pants with peplum tops and anarkali gowns in velvet. Intricate Hand embroidery is also a key feature of this collection. We have used bright festive colours of fuschia, yellow or orange and juxtaposed them with “non-winter”colours like blush pink and ivory to create a unique palette.
For boys 3 piece suits are really trendy for the party season. We have done illusion 3 piece tuxedos – they are jackets and pants with attached vests giving the illusion that the kid is wearing a 3 piece suit without the added weight of it. They also come with matching cummerbund and bow tie sets.
Party vests in luxe brocade, woolen professor blazers and tuxedo shirts with interesting details are classics and always work for the winter.
Indian: Sherwanis with emblem buttons in rich velvets, bandgalas with hand embroidery, jodhpuri pants with brocade vests and dhoti kurtas with Nehru jackets… all these trends are hot this wedding season and kidology has them all!
Any plans to design for the segment between 10 and 17 years of age. This segment is seen to be most devoid of options in Indian Fashion Industry.
Kidology already caters to this segment but purely on a customization basis. Kids in this age group are finding their sense of style and therefore have individualistic demands as well as size requirements so we feel customization works best.
Some of the designs by Kidology