Buyers Select:
Holly Tenser
Browns
Editorial
Edition 95
20.07.2022
Buyers Select takes you behind the scenes of your favorite stores to meet the people who choose what children will be wearing, explain the most exciting trends, talk about their market and the increasing interaction between physical and digital. Plus, they offer some suggestions about brands and companies, and Pitti as well.
by Elisabetta Campana


The opening of Browns, the UK's first luxury multibrand store, on London's South Molton Street in 1970 changed the course of fashion retailing in the country. Over the past 50 years, the brand has consistently maintained its concept of innovation and experimentation, which has evolved to incorporate the digital world as well. Last year, children's clothing was added to their offer, which perfectly reflects Brown's values, as Holly Tenser explains: particularly the focus on fashion, emerging brands, and playfulness, offering a balance between must-haves and the fun of shopping. With a particular emphasis on sustainability. Currently, the entire range is available online, and pop-ups and special initiatives dedicated to children are held at key times of the year in Browns East and Browns Brook Street locations. In addition, the womenswear and kidswear buying manager would like more brands to interpret their collections in a more gender-fluid way, making the traditional approach more creative. Regarding Pitti Bimbo, Tenser points out that the Florentine event offers buyers a great opportunity to discover new emerging brands and talents.
What are Brown's customers looking for at the moment?
The Browns customer is varied across our kidswear department. We have a certain customer who is seeking out the perfect pint-sized logo items from super brands including Gucci, Versace and Burberry, while we also have a strong streetwear-focused customer looking for the latest polos, t-shirts and trainers from hypebeast brands such as Off-White, Palm Angels, Stone Island and Amiri. Our style-conscious and fashion-forward customers are also on the lookout for mini-me looks, so we’re incredibly excited to be launching new brands to kidswear such as Thom Browne, STAND, Kids Worldwide and Rick Owens. 

 
What are the most interesting kidswear trends?

Looking at SS23 trends, ‘mini-me’ will continue to be really important to us at Browns. Mini me doesn’t have to mean dressing identically to your children, but simply taking elements of your style and favourite brands. For example, ERL’s puffers and jersey items are one of my favourite mini me updates, each incorporating elements from the brand’s RTW line. For AW22, there was a big focus on replicating the Y2K sports-luxe trend in an age-appropriate and kitsch way. The hot pink and rainbow colour trend has also filtered down into kids, with fun colour-pops. Key brands here include Sports Lux, Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana, Les Coyotes de Paris, MM6, Stella McCartney, ERL, Palm Angels, Bobo Choses and Balmain.
What would you like to see more in the proposals of brands and companies?
I would love to see more brands looking at their collections in a more gender fluid way, as many are still very traditional in their approach to baby and kidswear. I love when brands break down this approach with a more playful take, alongside a thoughtfulness to sustainability. Bobo Choses, Stella McCartney kids and Mini Rodini and doing a great job of both these elements. 

Browns added kids’ wear to its offering almost a year ago, how many brands do you sell now?
Since launching kidswear last July, we have acquired 58 brands on site; this is expanding to 75 for AW22. As the world of kidswear is still very new for us, we are taking the time to nurture our existing brand partners, perfect the assortment we have, and learn what our kidswear customer is seeking out.We are carefully curating our kidswear offering, and focusing on adding in newness that has a point of difference and aligns with our values. We are excited to continue to expand and add in more lifestyle brands, too.
What are the winning features of Browns kids’ wear?

What differentiates Browns kidswear is our focus on fashion and emerging brands. Our launch campaign truly represented the playful nature of Browns and the creativity of our Brand team. We didn’t want to make kidswear too serious; I believe we have found the perfect balance of must-have pieces and fun feel good shopping. We wanted the kids to be in control, and express themselves through their fashion, and our campaign really reflected that.
Between online and offline, where can one buy your kidswear?
Our brand and product offering is far greater than our floor space, so online is where you are able to see and buy the full range of kidswear all year round. Our stores are constantly changing and are curated around themes, events and trends, so we use this as an incredible tool to connect in person with our customers and ensure when they come in they are always excited to find newness.   

What does Pitti Bimbo represent?
I think it's always important to go to Pitti Bimbo or any tradeshow with an open mind and eye for new talent. Pitti Bimbo is always well curated and provides an incredible platform for buyers to discover new emerging talent or international brands that may not currently be on their radar.
Elisabetta Campana _ Freelance Journalist
For 30 years, I have written about fashion and luxury: after studying all aspects of the fashion system, I focused on retail, distribution, retail real estate, and international markets. Throughout my career, I have interviewed the most important Italian and foreign buyers, firmly believing that their precious, unique, real-time testimony on the wishes of customers, sales trends, and, therefore, a projection of the purchase budgets for collections, is the key to understanding the market, now more than ever.