It’s Designer Childrenswear’s 35th Birthday!

It’s Designer Childrenswear’s 35th Birthday! What a journey it’s been! It’s also our fabulous store’s 1st birthday this month too, a perfect excuse for everyone to get into the party mood! The Designer Childrenswear story is a great one, but we wouldn’t be where we are now if it wasn’t for you, our amazing customers! Thank you to each and every one of you; we are who we are because of you! If you’re unfamiliar with the story of where it all began, come along with us as we look back on thirty-five years in business at Designer Childrenswear and celebrate with us both online and in store!

Our story: From humble beginnings to Heidi-Boo…

It's Designer Childrenswear's 35th Birthday!

Designer Childrenswear has come a long way in 35 years. Owners Brenda and Kevin Coade started their business selling children’s sportswear from a market stall at Newcastle Quayside, before opening their first physical store on Derwent Street in 1984. Originally called ‘Heidi-Boo’, named after Brenda’s niece Heidi, the store sold babies clothes and children’s dresses. In need of more space, Heidi-Boo relocated a street away to Olive Street before going on to rebrand the store to Avenue in the late nineties.

It's Designer Childrenswear's 35th Birthday!
Heidi-Boo becomes Avenue
It's Designer Childrenswear's 35th Birthday!
Designer Childrenswear on Olive Street

Fast forward to 2013 and undergoing it’s final name change, Designer Childrenswear was born. This time, Kevin and Brenda recognised a real gap in the market for designer children’s clothing, and this became the store’s unique selling-point. Rebranding coincided with investment into the company’s online presence, developing a more sophisticated website under the guidance of E-Commerce manager Dionne Evans who joined the company in 2015. 2019 sees Designer Childrenswear in an amazing position, stocking 160 brands and shipping globally. With a generous social media presence and yearly online growth too, the future certainly continues to look bright for Designer Childrenswear!

Luxury brands need a luxury home

With growth both online and in store, a final relocation was both a necessity and a labour of love for Kevin and Brenda. In October 2018, Designer Childrenswear opened its luxurious new home on Derwent Street once again, back to where it all began. Rapid growth from ten staff to forty and an increasing need for warehouse space, meant that the need for bigger premises was an inevitable conclusion. Investing over £500,000 in a brand new store with over 4000 square feet of retail space across two floors, the owners were faced with the laborious task of restructuring and completely refitting two adjoining premises to make one larger store. The addition of a new premises also created essential warehouse space and allowed the old store to be transformed into a second warehouse and packing area.

The store-fit was executed to an incredibly high standard. Project-managed in its entirety by Brenda and completely self-funded, the store screams luxury, fitted to the highest specifications as would be expected from a designer store. Utilising the space was an essential part of the store’s new refit. Customised modular units, tailor-made to the company’s requirements proved to be an integral part of the bespoke fit. The shoe and accessory wall, starting behind the store’s counter and running the length of the back wall makes for a stunning focal point and creates a great place for customers to see the full range of footwear available in a sleek and stylish setting. The exquisite bespoke high-gloss counter with uplighting is a beautiful focal point too. Completed to the highest standard, it’s both welcoming and eye-catching. Finally, as the store now spans two properties, the potential for exciting visual merchandising opportunities has increased, particularly as the glass shop front is so large. Up to now, it has been host to both February and September fashion months, a bespoke Little Marc Jacobs Daisy window and a Kenzo window to name a few. A year on, our store is just as amazing, celebrating it’s first birthday in October of our 35th year!

It's Designer Childrenswear's 35th Birthday!
Daisy Collection by Little Marc Jacobs

Multiple Award Winners

It's Designer Childrenswear's 35th Birthday!
Drapers Award for Best Kidswear Independent, 2019

The hard work and dedication given to Designer Childrenswear by both Brenda and Kevin and their staff have seen the business go on to win multiple awards. Only recently, Designer Childrenswear won a Drapers Independents Award for Kidswear Independent of the Year, 2019, following on from winning Best Multichannel of the Year in 2018. The Drapers Independents Awards recognise the best of the fashion world’s independents, and praised Designer Childrenswear for its rapid growth and great performance during 2019. And with more nominations under its belt, could Designer Childrenswear become a multi-award winner in 2019 alone? Watch this space!

Designer Childrenswear Win Drapers Independents Award 2019
Dionne Evans and Brenda Coade receiving a 2019 Drapers Award

We are who we are because of you

Designer Childrenswear’s success over its 35 years in business is all thanks to you! Without our loyal customer fan base, both in Sunderland and across the world, Designer Childrenswear wouldn’t be here today! So thank you to each and every person that has dressed their children and their children’s children in Heidi-Boo, Avenue and Designer Childrenswear brands, none of this would be possible without you! Thanks for being part of our 35 years, here’s to the next chapter!

Team DC x

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