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Poppy Interviews Children's Designer Rachel Riley

There are so many things to love about Rachel Riley, whether its her consistent fun designs delivered to us each season or her dynamic bubbly personality. 
We can't get enough of Rachel  and her clothing at Poppy! 
What inspired you to start a children's clothing line? 

I have always loved making things, and I am of the generation that learnt ‘needlework and dressmaking’ at school (I think I was the only pupil that loved it!). But it was only after I had children of my own that I realised that I couldn’t find the clothes that I wanted for them. I wanted classic clothes that were stylish and good-looking, but also that were comfortable and practical. Most of our clothes are made from machine-washable cotton, and I especially love print, especially ‘conversational’ prints from the fifties so we design many of our own prints in-house.

When you design each collection, what key elements do you make sure to have in each and everyone of your collections?

We are most well-known for our girls dresses, and we do many styles, from a lemon-print jersey T-shirt dress to a brocade party dress. But we design and manufacture all items for a child’s wardrobe, from nightwear to outerwear to shoes. Since Prince George was seen wearing our designs our collections for babies have become very popular, especially items that are hand-embroidered, or hand-smocked, as he has often worn smocking.

What collection are you currently working on and what is your inspiration? 

I have just finished designing SS17, and it is always fun for me to work on a new collection. I love putting together fabrics and trims, and can get very excited about pretty buttons. I have just had some made that are pastel-coloured enamel daisies, they look like brooches! Inspiration is easy for me, and I can be inspired by things that I see around me – pink clouds in a bright blue sky can be color inspiration for a print, and I especially like whimsical prints that are so sweet for childrenswear. I have a personal collection of vintage fabrics that I have been collecting since I was a teenager.

Tell us about one or two of your career highlights that you are most proud of?

I am proud of running a successful business and providing clothes that bring joy to children, parents and grand-parents. But of course the most exciting moment has to be when Prince George wore our outfit on his ‘First Official Engagement’. The press coverage was extraordinary, and his photo was on the front page of every newspaper and magazine and on TV all over the world. I am thrilled that the Royal family have selected our outfits to dress the future King of England!

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