CWB learns more about the winner of this season’s Bubble London Rising Star award for the show’s best launch brand.
Portugal-based Barn of Monkeys is a creative fashion brand for children and teenagers aged 2-16 years. It’s a company with solid social and cultural values, seeking to create outstanding, long-lasting garments using nothing but the best fabrics made with high-quality, GOTS-certified, organic raw materials. Part of what makes Barn of Monkeys so unique is its urge to make a statement and provide exclusive pieces with a meaning: clothing that lasts longer and shouts out for gender standardisation.
Describing themselves as “out-of-the-box thinkers”, the brand’s founders are passionate creatives with 15 years of industry experience and the drive to create a kids’ brand that would speak the language of the new generation whilst also engaging parents. It is this combination of commercial awareness and artistic integrity that led the company to apply for Bubble London s/s 18.
“When it came to presenting our brand and first collection to the world, we wanted to be as close as possible to the best of the kids’ fashion market,” says Cláudia Senra, who heads-up Barn of Monkey’s international expansion and business development. “Bubble London is attended by retailers from across the globe and it’s a great honour to have been one of the brands accepted to show at this season’s edition. London is one of the world’s fashion capitals and, we believe, the perfect place to debut Barn of Monkeys.”
Titled Demand the Impossible, Barn of Monkey’s s/s 18 collection is inspired by the celebrated Jules Verne novel, Around the World in 80 Days, where character Phileas Fogg travels around the world in order to win a bet and prove that anything is possible, as long as you can imagine it.
“We believe that inspiration is the best gift grown-ups have to offer future generations, encouraging them to explore the limits of their creative minds and do something extraordinary,” continues Senra. “More than a collection, we also want to present a new concept of sustainable fashion, using the best GOTS-certified organic cotton and appealing to the sense of social responsibility we all owe to the environment.”
Sophisticated and minimalistic in design, the collection includes neutral styles to appeal to both boys and girls, as well as some pieces created specifically for each gender. Influenced by three primary stages of Phileas’ trip, the first look takes inspiration from travelling through the skies, the second from sailing the seven seas and the third from exploring earthy grounds. Abstract printed patterns help illustrate the stories, while a carefully considered colour palette reflects the earth, air and water themes, ranging from shades of blue through to rose and yellow tones.
Going above and beyond to make a strong first impression for their Bubble debut, the multi-lingual Barn of Monkeys team were on hand to ensure that all buyers’ questions could be answered. The brand wants to be close to its customers, get to know them better and, ultimately, understand their needs to provide the best possible service. As well as the obvious draw of the collection, Barn of Monkey’s stand at Bubble also played a part in engaging visitors, attracting buyers with its artful decoration, eco-friendly furniture, tailored accessories and customised gifts.
Commenting on the process of establishing the label, Senra concludes, “Launching a brand from scratch requires sleepless nights, a tireless team and, of course, years of experience in the fashion world helps. A fashion collection is a work of art, with many creators who think alike and aspire to inspire.
“The most difficult part of the process is deciding what kind of message you want to convey through the clothes, and building all of the communications accordingly. Beyond that, trying to create garments suitable for such a wide age range and which will please both parents and youngsters in a world where new trends are created every day – that was a real challenge.”
Rising Star award winner, Barn of Monkeys, will showcase its a/w 18 collection at next season’s Bubble London on 28-29 January 2018 at the Business Design Centre, Islington.