Holidaying in Style with Heidi Klein

Switch that baby brain on and cast your mind back to those heady days of summer. Remember – the warm breeze, brushing against your tanned, toned skin? OK – my baby brain took me into Kate Moss’ body – I’ll correct that – remember the warmth of the sun on your skin? The sand, the sea, the s…..creaming kids?

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Stylish. Synchronised. Sisters. Splash. Actually…splat! But we don’t need to see that…

Well, today whilst we can’t make the sun warm and shine BUT we can give you some great style tips for next summer. That’s because today, we interview Heidi Gosman from heidi klein and let me tell you – she OWNS summer holiday style!

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In 2002 Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein launched heidi klein one stop holiday shop in London’s Westbourne Grove. From this, they have grown to a second store and a super successful own-brand that sells in over 150 stores in 39 countries globally. Celebrity fans include Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo and Jennifer Aniston. And crucially, for us Kid Style Junkies, last year, they launched a collection for girls age 2-12Y and now, they have launched a line for boys – which takes inspiration from classic all American resorts such as Key West, Newport Beach, Long Island, and Cape Cod.

I wanted to know more more MORE…so I asked her…

You and Penny have 5 kids between you. Is that what inspired you to design your own kids’ lines. Was it because there wasn’t what you wanted in the marketplace?

Yes, the inspiration came when I couldn’t find the beachwear I wanted for my daughter Madeleine. I first developed a tight collection that offered something a little different and special.

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Where do you get your inspiration for the kids’ lines? Do you take from the adult lines or is it different?

I know what I want my children to look like on a beach and started from there. Inspiration for the kids range comes from all around me, at the stores talking with other Mum’s who tell me what they like, or don’t like, to buy for their children. Or on my travels for work or pleasure to family resorts where I observe what the children are wearing. Children need to feel comfortable first and foremost and protected from the sun, then I like pretty subtle prints that mirror the sophistication in the mainline.

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What do you think about mini-me dressing?

I think it is fine to dress children in mini-me pieces that subtly complement the adult’s look, say the same colour or similar design. Overall however, I want my children to wear clothes that match their lifestyle, not mine.

How important do you think it is for kids to wear UV Protective swimwear and rash vests? Do you think that encourages parents to leave their kids out in the sun longer than if they were simply wearing cream and a swimsuit?

I think rash vests are a great way to keep children protected and give parents a little extra peace of mind when out in the sun. Ours have advanced UPF 50+ protective fabrics to block out 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. But it’s not the only protection children need, you must not forget a hat or sun cream. It goes without saying you can’t leave children too long in the sun without regular breaks.

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Here’s some of my own holiday maths. Kids Sun cream + Swimwear + Swimming = stains. It’s so upsetting – especially when you’ve spent on some lovely pieces! What products do you like to use on your kids in the sun?

I use Calypso’s range of sunscreens for the children as I find it does not stain clothes as much as the others.

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How many swimsuits/trunks would you bring for your kids for a two week holiday?

I usually bring about four or five pairs each and rinse them out each day.

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There was some debate amongst kids fashion bloggers this summer about very young girls wearing bikinis as it ‘sexualises’ them when afterall, they have nothing yet on top to hide. I’m all up for my girls wearing bikinis. Though when they were very young – maybe up to 5 years old – they only wore the bottoms. Where do you weigh in on this debate?

I’m the same; my little girl only wore bottoms when she was little. She’s eight now and wants to wear the tops too. But the Heidi Klein girls style is cute and sporty for the cut and print, never sexy.

What are your top packing tips for holidaying with kids in the sun?

My children live in the water! I always pack lots of hats, factor 50 sunscreen, rash vests and three sets of snorkels, masks and flippers!

Please share with me your top 3 family hot holiday destinations.

Ibiza – We stay every year at a family villa

Maldives – We love the Lux Maldives Resort

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Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI – The Bay is divine with huge turtles which the children adore

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Much as they would love to, not everyone can afford your beautiful kids swimwear. Which high street brands do you think do swimwear for kids well?

Zara Kids have great choices for boys and girls.

You are a mother of 3. How have you found balancing work and family? Has it become easier, or harder as the business has grown?

I think is has become easier as the children have gotten older, or perhaps I’ve become better at juggling everything! It’s all about having a balance. I always make time at the end of the day and in the morning to spend quality time with all the children before I go to the office. When I’m with the children I’m strict, no looking at my phone or iPad, I always give them my full attention.

Having your own business is tough. Have you ever had a day where you thought, “Aaaaaaargh I want to give up” – what has been your greatest challenge to date?

No, I never wanted to give up. I’m grateful to have a supportive business partner, who has children also, and help from family and a wonderful nanny. The greatest challenge has been finding the right balance, but I think I have found that now.

Last but not least, we know you have now launched kid’s espadrilles (£65), girl’s beachwear and now boy’s beachwear (from £45) – we love an exclusive scoop at Kid Style Junkie – do you have plans to add to the line, do any collaborations with the kids lines like you have with the adults? Please do share!

We plan to continue extending our lifestyle range with more accessories… watch this space!

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So lovely Junkies, you can watch this space for more. Me? After all those pictures, I’m going on holiday, like, right NOW!!! Thank you Heidi for the inspiration!

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