Bonnie Baby is a fashion label selling beautiful British designed clothing for babies and children.
Synonymous with imaginative design, innovative use of colour and superb quality, Bonnie baby’s baby and childrenswear designs are modern and stylish with witty touches and great attention to detail.
Designer Tracey Samuel established childrenswear house, Bonnie Baby, in 2005, following the life changing arrival of daughter, Alice Bee. Today Bonnie Baby clothing is available around the globe with key stockists that include Barney’s in New York, Selfridges in London and their own store flagship store in Hong Kong.
A Bonnie start
Inspired by her roots near the wild mountainous landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, and greatly influenced by the woolen mills that were once prolific there, it is perhaps inevitable that designer, Tracey Samuel, would be drawn to a life long love affair with knitwear.
Graduating from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art with a degree in fashion & textiles, Samuel went on to complete a masters at St Martin’s College of Art & Design. She emerged in the early ‘90s alongside Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon, Antonio Beradi and Phoebe Philo, complete with a distinction and a love-hate relationship with St Martin’s matriarch Louise Wilson.
A stand out degree show lead to a job offer as Head Development Designer of knitwear for -Coats Viyella – at the time the largest manufacturer of knitwear in the UK. It was here that Tracey gained her strong technical grounding – in her words ‘getting to play with the most amazing state of the art Japanese knitting machines that were £200,000 a pop – a fortune in those days!’.
From working directly with Italian spinners on developing new yarns, to setting up the machines, and working on computerized patterns with the technicians, she soon gained a reputation as an inspired, technical knitwear designer.
Parlez vous anglais?
In 1995, Iconic French knitwear designer offered Tracey the task of re-launching Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, the more fashion-led fun-side of her empire.
Relocating to an apartment in the Montparnasse district of Paris with barely a word of French in her vocabulary, Samuel, then spent the next nine years as head of knitwear for ‘Sonia by Sonia Rykiel’ as well as consulting on main line. Here she honed a more feminine French influenced, design sensibility and an affinity for luxury yarns.
How Bonnie got its Apple
In 2004 Tracey married talented furniture designer husband Gareth and the couple decided to make their family home in Brighton. Inspired by the arrival of daughter, Alice Bee in 2005, Tracey set up her own children’s knitwear line.
With her background in Paris to draw on Tracey was clear from the outset she was going to create a fully fledged brand and not play part time with the label. With its emphasis on fully fashioned garments that paid incredible attention to detail and high quality, easy care yarns and fabrics, Bonnie Baby was born.
Among her first range of striped cashmere knits for babies in greys, blues and pinks was a sweater featuring the slogan ‘Apple of Daddy’s Eye’. The serendipity stork delivered a daughter to US actress Gwyneth Paltrow and husband, Chris Martin, front man of Brit rock band, Coldplay, and they named her Apple. Gwyneth, introduced to the brand by a friend, via the Apple sweater was totally smitten with Bonnie Baby and bought the entire collection. And this is how Bonnie got its Apple.