Independent kids’ fashion brand Happyology have just opened a store in Bath. Emma Clegg meets the founder and picks out a few of the most stylish pieces. Photography by Emma Tunbridge
Jessie Gao of Happyology fell in love with Bath when she visited seven years ago. Like many before her, she connected with the city’s larger-than-life history and its dramatic architecture and beguiling urban landscapes. It was three years after this visit that she established Happyology, her contemporary baby and children’s fashion brand for ages 0–7 with stores in Brighton and Leamington Spa. So when she decided to open a third bricks-and-mortar space Bath immediately sprang to mind.Shop interior with Cole & Son’s wallpaper
Jessie explains her motivations in setting up the brand: “It was my little sister who inspired me. Ever since she was born, I loved dressing her up. I found you can either get well-designed but very expensive designer clothes or affordable, mass-produced but poor quality clothes. There was a clear opening for beautifully designed and responsibly made childrenswear without a big price tag.
“Decades ago, children’s clothes used to be so much more interesting, with intricate details such as hand-embroidery and stitching, fabrics that were usually woven or knitted from natural yarns and decorated with sophisticated patterns and prints inspired by nature and its colours. I decided that I wanted to bring those traditional designs and handcraftsmanship back to life with a contemporary twist.”
Jessie designs the collections herself at the company’s Leamington Spa studio, creating concept mood boards, sourcing fabrics and finishing embellishments. There are more than 200 styles in the collection, with fabrics – ranging from Pima cotton and silk and luxury velvetto and cashmere – chosen to suit seasonal collections. Pima cotton, used for all the basic jersey collections, is a superior cotton with an extra long staple fibre that gives it strength, softness and colour retention.
The factory is based in Ningbo in the northeast Zhejiang Chinese province, a city with a proud tradition of textile production. Natural products and sustainable processes are a given: fabrics are dyed with plant dyes; spare fabric is used to make small items such as bibs, collars, and hair accessories; and even cotton packaging bags are used.
The new Spring/Summer 18 collection, which launches in March, brings even more colour to the Happyology range. Jessie created the mood board for the collection during a recent trip to Cuba where she was captivated by the colourful architecture and the bright, resonant landscapes.
The style is nostalgic and enchanting, the concept is wholesome and the models are adorable – it seems that Happyology is spreading the happiness all around.
Pictured: Aubergine Baby Dress £49, shoes from £19. Pitaya coat £69, Loquart trousers £39, Blue suede shoes £22.
Happyology, 6 Cheap Street, Bath BA1 1NE
Tel: 01225 331333. Visit: happyology.uk