I'm a big supporter of new labels. There's such an excitement behind discovering new brands and helping them get their name out there. One of these brands is Cotton Sparrow. Designed by Kate Sloan from Jersey, Cotton Sparrow is designed for the little individual in mind with androgynous aesthetic so anyone can wear it! Focusing on an Industrial Theme this season, you will find interesting cording, straps and detailing in this Autumn/Winer collection. Check out the T-shirt dress with cording. Edith wore it the other day and it looked so cute. Wear it on its own or layered with a jumper. It's the perfect dress for any wardrobe! I had a lovely chit chat with Kate. Read on to see what she had to say:
Check out Cotton Sparrow's collection now!!!!
1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
Born and raised in Jersey. I was a keen swimmer up until I went to University at age 18. I did a Foundation in Art and Design at the Wimbledon School of Art and then went on to study for a BA in fashion design at Southampton University at the Winchester School of Art campus where I did a semester abroad in my second year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. I moved back to Jersey after I graduated where I met my boyfriend, tried my hand at a couple of jobs non-of-which worked out. Then almost two years ago I had my little girl, Luca and a year after she was born the time felt right to get back into fashion design and at the beginning of this year I officially started Cotton Sparrow.
2. HOW DID THE IDEA FOR COTTON SPARROW COME ABOUT? WHAT DOES THE NAME COTTON SPARROW MEAN TO YOU?
Originally I wanted to develop a lingerie brand (and I still do) and Cotton Sparrow was a name I thought up for it - which seems absurd now. Obviously, it wasn’t right and I came up with a new name and started to make samples but couldn’t quite make it work. Then I got pregnant and designing fell to the wayside. Last summer feeling the want to design again I made Luca some knickers to wear under her dresses and being a stay-at-home-mum I thought why not sell them so I made a Facebook page and I don’t even remember thinking about it but I called the page Cotton Sparrow. It made sense because I was only using cotton fabrics and the sparrow part sounded kind of cool. Also, during that summer I heard that the London department store Liberty was holding an open call for designers to pitch to them so I hastily made a small collection, which I didn’t put too much thought behind and presented it to them at the beginning of this year. They didn’t take it but I got a lot of positive feedback which made me believe that fashion design is something I could actually do, but living in Jersey I have no contacts which makes it very hard but I don’t think I can do anything else.
3. WHAT KIND OF CHILD ARE YOU DESIGNING FOR? WHAT’S YOUR TARGET MARKET, YOUR CUSTOMER?
The kind of child I’m designing for has no sense of conformity, is fearless, confident and independent. Cotton Sparrow has an androgynous aesthetic so even though it started off being a brand for girls, it is turning into a brand for little individuals. Boys could pull-off some of the garments with no problem. It’s a very niche brand so my customer has a keen interest in fashion. I’ve purposely designed separates so that each piece can be worn with other items the wearer already owns so that their personality can be seen.
4. WHEN DESIGNING THE COLLECTION DO YOU THIS TO MUSIC? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT? ANY FAVOURITES?
I love music especially dance music. I think I definitely use it as a tool for designing. Literally right now I’m listening to a mix by drum and bass artists Nu: Tone and Logistics on Youtube. I also listen to some of the chart stuff and lots of electro.
5. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? DOES THIS INFLUENCE YOUR DESIGNS FOR THE LITTLE ONES?
My style is a bit schizophrenic although the older I’m getting the more it seems to be settling down. I wear a lot of masculine shapes as I’m quite physical. I find I can move better in jeans and a T-shirt. Every now and again I’ll have a feminine moment and wear a dress, usually a black dress. I think this is definitely reflected in what I design and what I put my little girl in. Even I can see that she can’t play and climb as well as she can if she wears trousers or leggings so that’s probably why there are no skirts in Cotton Sparrow collections. There will always be a dress because sometimes a girl wants to wear a dress.
6. IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD THIS BE? WHY?
Big question!! I admire so many but I think I would like to work with Iris Van Herpen because she is so experimental and she hasn’t sacrificed her aesthetic for sales. She uses 3D printing and plastics, magnets all sorts of different materials for her designs. I would be intrigued to see if we could make interesting clothing for children out of 3D printing.
7. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAFÉ, SHOP, MUSEUM, ETC YOU CAN GO TO GAIN INSPIRATION?
I get most of my inspiration from the everyday. I will design one thing and it will lead to another so I don’t feel the need to visit places really. Although I do like a good museum every now and again for an injection of culture.
8. DO YOU AND YOUR KIDS HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO AND HANG OUT?
Jersey zoo. It has to be one of the prettiest in the world and the work they do is so amazing and all the animals look so relaxed.
9. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
I talk to my dad a lot about the business end of Cotton Sparrow and I always say stuff like ‘I want bespoke packaging’ and ‘I want to do this, this and that’ and he always says ‘you don’t need to worry about that now Kate you need to focus on what you’re doing now’ I can’t help but daydream about where I want Cotton Sparrow to go but he’s right, I should focus on what I can do now.
10. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO US?
I’ve literally started Cotton Sparrow out of nothing so my advice would be not to worry about the money and try not to look at what everyone else is doing because they’ve been doing it longer then you and have a lot more money so you can’t compare. If you keep going you’ll be as good-or-better than them one day.
11. IF COTTON SPARROW WAS AN ICE CREAM FLAVOUR, WHICH FLAVOUR WOULD YOU BE?