Q&A with the founders of Dot to Dot London

Dot to Dot London, the leading bi-annual children's boutique trade fair is set to host its 9th edition this weekend. Running from January 21 to 22 at the Vinyl Factory in London, the children's wear trade show hopes to welcome more than 400 industry visitors, including buyers from major UK retailers as well as independent buyers and members of the press.

Showcasing 45 of the coolest, design-led and independent children's brands, Dot to Dot London strives to showcase the best and most creative brand in the industry. Founded by Carly Gledhill and Nicole Frobusch in 2014, who met while showcasing their own children's brands, Corby Tindersticks and Nixie Clothing at Playtime in Paris, Dot to Dot London is the show for both local and international brands. In particular, the founder aim to aid emerging and new brands through its dedicated area 'Spark'. This season is set to see Dot to Dot London introduce 4 new brands - Marlon and little friends, Pippins, Pimsa and Cooee Kids - who will showcase their collection for AW 18 for the first time.

Q&A with the founders of Dot to Dot London

Ahead of Dot to Dot London's 9th edition, FashionUnited took a moment to speak to Carly and Nicole to learn more about the history of the trade show, their vision for Dot to Dot London as well as their plans for the future.

FashionUnited: What first inspired you to launch Dot to Dot London back in 2014?

Q&A with the founders of Dot to Dot London

Carly & Nicole: “Back in 2014 the offer for small brands to be able to showcase their new collections was expensive and not very inspiring. So we jumped on the wagon and created Dot to Dot. We invited brands we knew to show with us and it grew from there.”

How has Dot to Dot grown since its first edition?

C&N: “We started out at the Museum of Childhood with just 12 British brands. Since our first edition we changed venues twice and now have between 45-60 brands showing with us from all over the world.”

What makes Dot to Dot unique to other children's fashion trade shows?

C&N: “We think we stand out, because we are a very small show compared to the other children’s tradeshows, but what we lack in size we make up in quality. The brands are much more visible and get the chance to be seen by every visitor. It is also a nicer experience for the visitors to spent quality time and getting to know the brands. We are completely independent, which allows us more flexibility.”

How has Dot to Dot continued to bring innovation to its visitors and buyers each season

Q&A with the founders of Dot to Dot London

C&N: “This we achieve by carefully selecting new brands and designers alongside the established once every season. We change our layout every season to keep the show flowing so it does not become stagnant. Our ‘Spark’ area for new to industry brands welcomes new and exciting brands every season.”

What is new at Dot to Dot this season for AW18?

C&N: “This season we have Peggy from Paul&Paula curating our trend space with the theme of “MIST”. We also have in increase of international brands showing with us and our FIRST German brand and South Korean brand. In addition, Lunamag.com will be launching their new online magazine at the show - a lot of firsts!.”

What inspired you to launch Spark at Dot to Dot?

C&N: “To reflect our original ethos within the growing show in the new larger venue.”

Q&A with the founders of Dot to Dot London

How have other exhibitors reacted to Spark?

C&N: “The collective atmosphere at Dot to Dot London is very welcoming and the brands are all very supportive of each other.”

What things do you look for when searching for new brands to show at Dot to Dot?

C&N: “Originality, great design and sustainability of production, as there are a lot of overlapping themes and we try to keep variety within the show.”

What are your plans for the next edition of Dot to Dot?

C&N: “Honestly, at the moment we are on unsteady grounds as we don’t quite know how Brexit will affect us in the following season.”

Where do you see Dot to Dot in the next 5 years?

C&N: “In Hawaii! Ha. Seriously, we wish to continue what we have been offering so far, keeping the show intimate, safe from potential copycats and affordable while providing an inspirational platform for brands and visitors alike.”

Photo: Copyrighted Dot to Dot London