Behind the Designs: Cath Kidston x Candice Brathwaite
This autumn at Cath Kidston, we celebrate our children, their enquiring minds, their creativity, their individuality, and their talent for seeing things differently.
As part of this season’s Little Trailblazers kidswear collection, as we get our children ready to go back to school, we are so happy to introduce our new collaboration with renowned author, journalist and TV presenter, Candice Brathwaite. The colourfully graphic collection of cotton jersey dresses and tops is packed full with uplifting sentiment, affirmations and messages of positivity.
Here we catch up with Candice, our Creative Director, Holly and Print Designer, George to find out more about the collection and the design process behind the collaboration.
What was it like collaborating with our Creative Director, Holly, and the Cath Kidston design team on this collection?
Collaborating with Cath Kidston was a dream come true! I’ve been obsessed with the brand since I was a young girl so this feels perfect. Collaborating with Holly and the wonderful design team was so seamless and inspiring. They allowed me to really put some ‘Candice vibes’ into it and I love that.
Tell us more about your creative process when coming up with the affirmation lines
I felt a bit nervous because Cath Kidston is such a heritage brand but once the team let me know that I could completely be myself, I just let loose. I really leaned on the things my father used to say to me when it came to the affirmation lines. I went through old journals and even social media posts to try and inspire a thought process that I thought could lend itself to coming up with something that could positively stick with kids forever.
What was your inspiration for the affirmations?
My main inspiration for the affirmation words was a YouTube video I had seen many, many years ago, when I was in my early twenties. It spoke about how limiting being ‘realistic’ could be. My life and the goals I’ve achieved on paper seemed so unlikely before but remaining unrealistic allowed me to plan and execute without boundaries or fear of failure.
At Cath Kidston we love an affirmation and an uplifting sentiment. Did you look to the Cath Kidston tone of voice as inspiration?
I actually didn’t consider the Cath Kidston tone of voice as inspiration. I try not to do that with any work as I worry that I may lose some of myself. I trusted that the team wanted to collaborate with me based on the work I already produce so I just went 100% all in. I think the affirmation and design are a little ‘punchier’ than usual for Cath Kidston but I know for sure it’s something my own children would gravitate towards so I’m happy with that.
Why is it important for you to inspire and uplift the next generation?
Without inspiring and uplifting the next generation, there really is little else to do. I think a life free from wanting to do that is rather selfish. I’m here because I am standing on the shoulders of invisible giants. Why would I not want to offer inspiration to the young people around me?
Tell us your thoughts on the collection.
I’m blown away with the collection. It’s feisty and filled with energy, a lot like me to be fair! I think the pieces are edgier than other Cath Kidston styles, and that’s ok as we want our children to feel empowered and inspired by everything around them - even their clothing.
Here our Creative Director, Holly and Print Designer, George tell us about the collaborative process with Candice.
Why was it so important for you to work with Candice on this special collection?
The inspiration for the autumn collection was trail blazing women, and that is exactly what Candice is. I am often inspired by female painters and to be inspired by a prolific writer was an extension of this. Cath Kidston is based on a strong female collective, and it was such a privilege to have Candice as part of that.
Since starting at Cath Kidston I felt it was important to make the kidswear more purposeful, underpinned by our sustainable strategy. We wanted Candice to write these affirmations for us, how she teaches her own children to navigate the world today with self-belief and strength. I really enjoyed speaking with Candice she truly lights up a room with her enthusiasm and had us all laughing. We spoke a lot about our kids and fashion too. She styles our clothing so well and I’m a big fan!
How did the design process work with this collaboration?
Being a writer, Candice came up with the amazing words of affirmation that fill the print. We added in some magical characters and hand painted elements to bring the print to life. We feel that this is emotional design at its strongest and is empowering kids through fashion.
Once Candice had written the affirmations how did the team bring these to life with the design?
We played around with the words using hand drawn fonts, colour and scale to make her affirmations pop out in the print. There are elements from our autumn collections too, like the magical peace dragon, the You do You slogan from our Pinball print, the leopard pattern and the fairy starbursts - all adding to the fun of the print. This collection is the perfect solution to how to dress for school if there is no uniform and the dresses and tops make for uplifting non uniform day ideas.Holly:
We wanted the designs to be bold and bright and full of our beautiful icons, and to look very contemporary and authentic to Candice. We also hand painted her lips, to signify that she spoke these special words.