Text by Phillip D. Johnson
Images by Dave M. Benett & Ian Gavan/Getty Images for AlexandAlexa.com
AlexandAlexa, the global online style destination for kids played the first ever Global Kids’ Fashion Week (GKFW) in London in mid-March 2013. The event, which ran for two days from 19th–20th March 2013 took place at the Freemason’s Hall, Holborn, London. In addition to just plain having fun, Global Kids Fashion Week also aimed to educate and inspire people about Kids’ fashion and to celebrate how this specialist category has thrived and evolved over the past five years.
AlexandAlexa (www.alexandalexa.com) is the global style destination for kids, offering over 200 premium brands spanning fashion, toys, sports and lifestyle. The site was launched in October 2007 by husband and wife duo Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till. As with most things in life, necessity is the mother of invention. With two children under the age of five, the pair were tired of the stress of family shopping trips. To access the world’s best kids collections without having to hit London’s high street, they created an online shopping destination for parents. Five years on, the company has exceeded all growth expectations and is a true global player with a thriving customer base in over 100 countries.
Alex Theophanous, founder and CEO of www.AlexandAlexa.com says: ‘Kids’ fashion is playful, fun and innovative – we all believe it deserves its own dedicated platform. This is why we are so proud to be supporting the very first Global Kids’ Fashion Week. With this event, we aim to put children’s fashion on the map worldwide’.
The schedule included two main shows – an exclusive media event showcasing the latest Autum/Winter 2013 trends from leading labels worldwide on Tuesday 19th March; and a public/benefit show with showcasing Spring/Summer 2013 season looks from the AlexandAlexa brand portfolio on Wednesday 20th March. Proceeds from all ticket sales for the public fashion show will be donated to Kids Company (www.kidsco.org.uk), the charity partner for Global Kids Fashion Week.
Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996 and provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. The organization provide a safe, caring, family environment where support is tailored to the needs of each individual, with services and support designed to empower children who have experienced enormous challenges to leading positive and fulfilling lives. These exceptionally vulnerable children not only negotiate significant challenges in their family homes, they also face immense threat within their neighbourhoods. Often they are exposed to relentless violence, some are forced into working as drug couriers or prostitutes, and many experience chronic abuse.
Their services reach 36,000 and intensively support 18,000 children across London, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges. In many cases, the roles of adult and child are reversed and, despite profound love, both struggle to survive. But despite great difficulties, the children they work with are hugely courageous and embrace the support they offer.
In 2007, Kids Company was awarded the Liberty and JUSTICE Human Rights Award. In 2010 Kids Company were selected as a ‘Child Poverty Champion’ by the End Child Poverty Project for theirr success in enabling children to achieve their full potential.
Global Kids Fashion Week was designed to cast a spotlight on premium kids’ fashion, from both established designers and emerging names. Designers featured in the show included Luxury brands (Paul Smith Junior, Junior Gaultier, Chloe, Little Marc Jacobs, I Pinco Pallino, Suzanne Ermann, Anne Kurris, Supertrash), Premium casual brands (Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Scotch Shrunk, Scotch R’Belle, Wildfox) and Emerging/independent brands (Rachel Riley, Finger in the Nose, Munster Kids).
In addition to the two fashion shows–the later being a benefit/pubic show–Global Kids Fashion Week also featured musical performances, a sponsored photobooth, as a mix of playful activities for children and parents (in collaboration with event partner the Victoria &Albert Museum of Childhood), an after-party with refreshments served along with entertainment from supporting brands such as child-friendly nail varnish company Little Bu, and a bloggers lounge.
Special celebrity and fashion industry guests (and their kids) included Jemma Kidd and Jodie Kidd, Daisy Bates, Amber Le Bon, Malin Jeffries, Lyndsay Lilly Keys, John Frieda, and Julietta Dexter.
Other Global Kids Fashion Week Ambassadors, besides Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till, included Sarah Curran, founder of www.my-wardrobe.com, Tanya Kazeminy Mackay, founding partner of Mama Mio Skincare, Model Portia Freeman, Pippa Vosper, founder of www.maternallychic.com blog and Olcay Gulsen, Dutch fashion designer and founder of SuperTrash Girls.