Children’s fashion: Little classics

Vintage looks with a twist. Yvette Huddleston meets the two friends bringing heritage style to children’s clothing.

Children rule!
Children rule!

Buying children’s clothing – especially for girls – can sometimes be a bit of minefield. Do you follow the latest trend? Or go for something more timeless and risk the wrath of your offspring? Well, help could be at hand from a new girls’ clothing company that combines just the right amount of edge with classical appeal.

Huddersfield-based Laylamay was set up in 2012 by Clare Green and her business partner Helen May and their aspiration is “to become a new heritage brand for a new generation.” Clare studied fashion at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 1996, and has been a designer for 18 years. “I have worked on High Street brands like Top Shop and Dorothy Perkins and I used to travel out to China quite a lot as well as New York, Tokyo and Milan,” she explains. “Having lived down in London for a while my husband and I decided to relocate to Yorkshire – I am from Cheshire originally and he is from Bradford.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Once back in the North, Clare began working in a slightly different area, designing fancy dress costumes. When she and her husband started a family, Clare felt it was time to rethink a little.

Children rule!

She got chatting to her friend Helen May. “We both have girls so we thought we would do what we know,” says Clare. “I have often found when I have been shopping for clothes for my daughters I like things that are quite simple. My own style is quite strong but feminine.”

Those elements – simplicity, strength 
and femininity – are all reflected in the designs. “It was important to me that we were making things that would last,” says Clare. Also key is the idea of layering, in order that clothes can crossover seasons. So, for example you can team a lovely lace dress with thick tights and a tweed jacket.

Clare and Helen found the tweed they use when they came across Marling and Evans, based in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield.

“It fitted in with our look – it was sort of ‘vintagey’ and because it has a pink and lilac thread running through it, it looks quite feminine,” says Clare.

Their clothes are all manufactured in Sheffield.

Cootchie-Coo Children’s Boutique, Victoria Quarter, Leeds Tel: 0113 246 0206.