Sydney Retail Festival

Interview with Adrianne from The Little Magazine

The Little Magazine has become a key platform for Australian designers to connect and share their stories. We spoke to its founder, talented photographer Adrianne Miller Roberts, about her passion for local design and her advice for childresnwear labels to break through the noise. Enjoy reading the interview below!

Tell us about how The Little Magazine began

My love has always been about creating. Having a kids’ fashion photography for many years my love comes from not only taking pictures but creating scenes and look books and any visual medium really.

Over the years as I got to know my clients pain points it seemed to me that in this heavily saturated industry so many brands were struggling to be heard and finding unique ways to market themselves. So it started as a marketing platform but then became much more.

As we talked to more and more designers we just loved learning their back stories of how they came about, what the brand means to them, their creative process and the wonderful humans who are in their creative element doing what they love.

With a large shift in the market towards more sustainable and ethically produced product, I was always fascinated about the production process and learnt so much more about design industry which I think is really important to educate buyers.

The same goes with so many of the young models I have worked with who are also competing and trying to break through the noise. While there is still a bit of stigma in the industry that kids get pushed into this work, for the most part these kids just love playing dress up, having fun, acting and connecting with other kids their own age who love doing it too. I really felt that these kids needed a voice and platform to share their stories too, so everyone can put a name to the face.

Hence the the Desginer Features, Model Feature & Little magazine was born!

What makes The Little Magazine different to other children’s fashion magazines?

There are many kids fashion magazines out there but what makes The Little Magazine unique are our Model Profiles.

We have also recognised that so many of the young models that work so hard for these designers are also competing and trying to break through the noise.

While there is still a bit of stigma in the industry that kids get pushed into this work, for the most part these kids just love playing dress up, having fun, acting and connecting with other kids their own age who love doing it too.

I really felt that these kids needed a voice and platform to share their stories too, so everyone can put a name to the face.

So the magazine acts as a bit of a community space which allows designers & models to connect, collaborate and be heard.

You have a background in photography. How important do you think it is for emerging brands to invest in high quality photography?

We are at such a heightened peak of visual stimulation at the moment and this bombardment of pictures has really sharpened the average viewer mind to what a good photo is to what an average photo is.

I hate to say it but there is so much truth to “Perception Is Everything” if you have low quality images that represent your brand the perception will be that the quality of your products are low quality.

I believe 2 things will make people sit up and take notice and if you can acheive both I think you will build a good audience.

1. Creative, well executed, great quality image

2. A familiar consistent look

If you look at a lot of really successful brands – Tutu Du Monde, Huxbaby, Acorn Kids, Wilson & Frenchy.

They invest in good quality photography which makes them instantly recognisable and instantly tells the viewer that they are a high quality product.

You are passionate about promoting Australian designers of children’s fashion. Why is supporting local design important to you?

I am extremely passionate about supporting home grown but also about supporting small business and it means so much more to me that just keeping the dollar in the Australian economy or supporting your neighbour.

Such a huge proportion of kids’ fashion designers and small business owners are born from mum’s (and dads!) at home wanting to fulfil their creative needs, build a business, contribute to the household income, feel passionate about something other than just staying at home and looking after the kids – just like myself.

We all know of the feeling of smashing out emails in between ABC kids and trying to sound professional on the phone to clients when your 2 year old is jumping off the couch and screaming once he hits the floor!

Along with all the juggling act of working at home we are also burdened with the GUILT. The guilt of “I’m working too much and not playing with the kids enough”, “I’m terrible - I have put them in front of the TV or Ipad for a few hours” or “I’m such a bad parent because mummy (or daddy) has to tell you to be quite while I’m on the phone – again!”

For many people this is where small business starts. But what if we look at it a little differently?

Imagine for one moment what our kids are absorbing when they see mum working hard to achieve her dreams?

The values we are instilling in our kids when they see the hard work, late nights, blood sweat & tears that go into building a successful business?

When you get your kids to help you pack those boxes – what sense of pride, connection and inclusion do you think they get when they know they have helped you with something you love.

When they ride the ups and downs with you what are they really learning about life?

In this rapidly changing world preparing our kids and giving them an insight into your world can only make them stronger.

So that’s what supporting home grown means to me – encouraging our creative community to live in their passions, but also building resilient kids that know what it looks like to follow your dreams.

What advice do you have for emerging children’s labels?

It is a very competitive industry but if you are going to take the leap don’t think you have to know it all to start.

I have spoken to many designers who come from engineer backgrounds, mine surveyor, doctors and hospitality workers and many still work these jobs while building their brands.

The kids fashion design industry is extremely supportive and many people are willing to share their knowledge.

You also promote Australian children’s fashion boutiques. What are 3 boutiques in Sydney that you are loving at the moment?

Lila & Huxley - Freshwater

Shorties - Sydney & Newtown

The Corner Booth - Annandale

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Thank you Adrianne for taking the time to share your knowledge and passion with us! If you are a kids boutique or fashion designer, be sure to connect with The Little Magazine via their website here.