Junior Style London has had many incarnations over the years. To celebrate the new portal and blog launch, we take a look back at our origins as well as get the low-down on what’s new from #Girlboss Romaine Coonghe.
Tell us a little about your background in fashion.
When I started Junior Style, I had been working for British designer Roger Walker Dack at his renowned womens’ and menswear sample sales, the Designer Warehouse Sales. Customers were always asking about sample sales for children and I saw a niche in the market that I could fill. Roger was a tremendous support to me as a business mentor—he really is such a great guy.
How did Junior Style London start out?
It started over 13 years ago when my oldest son Eugene was born. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family—but motherhood pushed me to start the company because I needed the flexibility to balance family responsibilities with work.
I started holding pop-ups selling sample collections, cancelled orders and end of season stock from brands and retailers. Then I began introducing independent and Scandinavian brands to my customers, like Katvig, Molo, Ubangbabblechat, Moccis and independent brands such as Christa Davis, Lille Barn, Oh Baby London, and Nadadelazos to name but a few. My customers really appreciated finding something new, that no one else was wearing!
To serve a larger audience, I began holding private online sales —this was way before Zulily was here—and I continued to hold pop-ups and events in North, South, and East London.
How has kid’s fashion changed since you started over a decade ago?
The childrenswear industry was very different when I first started out. It was dominated by the two extremes of mainstream brands from the high street and very high-end designer labels. You had Gap, Next and designer labels such as Ralph Lauren, basically— and it was hard to uncover the independent labels back then.
What makes Junior Style London different from other kids’ fashion sites?
Childrenswear is a challenging industry because your target market is constantly changing as the kids grow older—meanwhile it takes time for new parents to figure out where to find the independent labels.
We’ve positioned Junior Style as a global resource for consumers all over the world to connect to the brands they most covet, discover new and unusual labels, and know where to go locally for a brick and mortar experience. I like to think of Junior Style as serious, but never snobby, about kids’ fashion. We offer an inclusive, yet curated experience for the consumer on our portal which includes a range of designers at different price points and stages of growth.
What does the future hold for Junior Style London?
We are going global—style conscious parents are hungry for global, trendsetting labels so we are bringing emerging designers from Korea, Japan, the United States, and Europe to our portal. We also have an exciting line up of new contributors with fresh perspectives from around the world that we will be announcing in the weeks ahead—I am lucky to have terrific staff who manage our day to day content so my role has transitioned into providing business development, branding, marketing, and PR services to independent labels. It’s been a long journey, but I’m doing what I love and I’m exactly where I am supposed to be!
Thank you for sticking around and welcome to Junior Style!