It's only weeks until NZ Fashion Week and joining us on the runway for our Little Treasures Mum & Kids show is Breastmates. Before the show, we caught up with Franny McInnes, founder, manager and designer of the Kiwi maternity brand...
Tell us how Breastmates began?
It was a very simple start up story actually. I’d just started maternity leave and was making a few nursery decorations and breast pads - the world’s most unexciting start-up product! I’d make extras and list them on Trademe - and that was really the simple beginning of Breastmates - way back in 2004. Over the years I have slowly increased my range, started developing products for mums, as well as designing clothes and building up a website. The Breastmates clothing range and products are all my own original designs.
I starting creating them after feedback from my customers who wanted affordable maternity clothes that could be worn for longer than nine months. All my styles have secret breastfeeding access and are flattering to post-pregnancy bodies.
Your designs are unique. What inspires you?
I get most of my inspiration when I visit the fabric markets. It’s overwhelming - and complete chaos! I’m surrounded by billions of stalls and fabric samples, and people and motorbikes everywhere. It’s about gut instinct - and selecting fabrics that appeal instantly. Once I have chosen fabrics, patterns, and colours, I design a new style around that.
What are some key trends this season?
Floral seems to keep on going! And mixing floral and stripes.
What’s your top selling product?
Our Clip-on-Cami. You won’t see this at the Little Treasures Mum & Kids Show because it’s more like an undergarment and not part of our fashion range. The Clip-on-Cami is a strapless camisole which attaches to a woman’s nursing bra - giving her a tank layer while wearing her properly fitting bra. One of our top recommended products by mums!
What can we expect to see in the Little Treasures Mum & Kids show?
We’re showcasing a range of outfits which will have you covered for maternity and breastfeeding. All our designs have hidden breastfeeding openings, though I’m not sure if the models will be doing a demo on the catwalk! We’ll be showing dresses for work and special events, such as a summer wedding - yet styles that could also take you to a summer BBQ, a corporate look, and casual summer look, all matched up with accessories from Breastmates, such as our Silicone Teething Jewellery. This is our first time at Fashion Week and we’re so excited to be there.
You might also like
'If only I had known'
'If only I had known' is Catherine Cameron's latest blog on the overwhelming transition of returning to work. The struggle to come to terms with the new role of part time mum and the realisation admitting that you are struggling, is ok.
Recently, my sister and I took our toddlers for a walk to buy a morning coffee. As we walked, my sister asked if I had a preference as to where we might dine.“Somewhere with good high chairs,” I replied. There wasn’t a mention of location or coffee quality. High chairs were my primary focus.
Each week I set aside a night when my toddler is in bed and my husband is in charge of baby Theo for a couple of hours. During this time, I paint my nails. It makes me feel like a human for a little while.