Isossy Children is a kid’s fashion brand inspired by a new internationalism drawing on designer Amanda Rabor’s background from New York to Nigeria and back to the UK.
The spring summer collection uses wonderful bright printed fabrics with tribal prints in girls dresses with tucks and pleats. The tailored suits are unique combining structure with more limited edition prints. Sunsuits are wonderfully cute and fun.
We think Isossy Children is a label to watch. If you want some unique summer dressing for holidays this year this is a great place to start for some statement pieces. Read on to catch our interview with Amanda about starting Isossy Children and her fashion roots.
FLUXLINGS: I read that the name Isossy Children comes from your Nigerian name and your husband’s nickname?
AMANDA RABOR: Yes, I was playing with our names. Isossy is an amalgamation of one of my middle names, shortened to Isi and my husband’s name Osmond, shortened to Ossy. So I made Isossy.
FLUXLINGS: You first started your company Culture Kids in 1995. How long did that operate for? Were the designs similar to Isossy Children?
AMANDA RABOR: Back then it was just drawing on African influences but it used the same premise of fusing cultural influences. I did it for about 2 years. I used to sell at Camden Market, Ladbroke, different events. It was hard work.
FLUXLINGS: What was it that made you go back to kids fashion after a break? Is there anything different this time?
AMANDA RABOR: My son grew up. He was really young when I started Culture Kids and I decided I needed to be a mother first. Everything is different this time. I’m much more evolved and experienced as a woman and it makes all the difference.
FLUXLINGS: You use limited edition fabrics for the Isossy Children collection. Where do they come from?
AMANDA RABOR: They are currently all sourced here in our multi-cultural country. I love that I can get them here and make them here too.
FLUXLINGS: I love the suits too – can you tell us a little about them. Are they a permanent part of the collection?
AMANDA RABOR: I’m glad you like the suits. It took a little while to develop the boys range actually. I love the suits and they are definitely a permanent feature. We have signature pieces. And the limited edition prints always create something new.
FLUXLINGS: The collection has an obvious African influence, and the release says you lived in different countries as a child. Which countries, and which of these most influence your designs?
AMANDA RABOR: I was raised in NYC and London as a child and then between both. Our parents were both very global people and we were blessed to travel a lot between the countries and my parents Nigerian homeland too. Experiencing the different cultures whilst I was growing up and my travelling adventures today constantly inspire my design process.
FLUXLINGS: How does your global experience pass into your collections, and do you think that kids can pick up on that – even on a very basic or instinctive level?
AMANDA RABOR: I incorporate African, Asian and Western cultures to create contemporary clothing that all children can wear. The inspiration is transcending cultural barriers and opening it up for all children. I really believe it’s empowering for children to see cultural influences of some of the people around them or on TV in their day-to-day expression and in turn it promotes inclusion and understanding. That is what I hope Isossy Children can contribute to the upcoming generations. I studied Psychology which really changed my thinking and understanding of humanity, prejudices and stereotypes.
FLUXLINGS: It must be great having your family’s support running the brand, especially your son who has grown up between Culture Kids and Isossy Children. Do you enjoy that aspect of the brand?
AMANDA RABOR: Family means everything to me and business is demanding by nature, so when the business brings us all together it’s great. Isossy Children brings us all together quite a lot on both sides of the Atlantic.
FLUXLINGS: Where do your sales come from? Do you find interest from international buyers with the international nature of the collection?
AMANDA RABOR: Sales are from all over the world including South America, America, France, Spain and the UK mostly. I’ve set-up Isossy Children to be truly global.
FLUXLINGS: At the Bubble show for SS13, my little girl was really attracted to the colour and vibrancy of the collection and it was one of her favourites that day. Do you get much feedback from children on the clothes? I imagine they really enjoy wearing them!
AMANDA RABOR: I love that. I love it when kids are attracted to the colour. Kids are my best critics. They always tell the truth and have great insight about things.
FLUXLINGS: The collection is so bright and exciting, I am hoping it will inspire a glorious summer in the UK. But if you could do a collection shoot in any location in the world, where would you do it?
AMANDA RABOR: Good question. That question took me all around the world. First I thought Nigeria, Thailand, Tobago but actually, I’d have to say NYC.
To have a closer look at the Isossy Children collection, see www.isossychildren.com