Chatting with Emma Watson of Little Hotdog Watson
High-tech fashion is a booming industry and while it produces many groundbreaking items across the sector, one designer is taking fashion-tech to another level. Meet Emma Watson, founder and designer of the trailblazing childrenswear label Little Hotdog Watson who creates designs that are fashionable, futuristic and fundamental to every parent.
As the winner of Dot to Dot London's 'Best New Brand' award back in 2016, Little Hotdog Watson has been changing the landscape and redefining the qualities of childrens' clothing. This childrenswear label playfully merges fashion and technology by combining the latest textiles to create stylish yet protective clothing for all the young adventurers. From hats to sunglasses, each of Little Hotdog Watsons' designs are sure to brighten a child's day while giving parents the comfort of knowing that their child is protected from harmful UV rays.
If you're wondering about the origins of the name brand's name... you'd be happy to know that it's affectionately named after the designer's daughter. Watson explains that: "When H was a baby we nicknamed her after her food. She had several nicknames including sausage, sausage roll, sausage butty, then hotdog! The nickname has since changed but the name felt right for the business because it represents family and my inspiration for starting the business."
Though Little Hotdog Watson is the designer's first initiative into the childrenswear market, Watson herself is no stranger to the fashion industry. Having previously studied Fashion and Textiles in her undergraduate years, Watson has also worked as a menswear fashion buyer for brands like Charles Tyrwhitt and high-street giant, Marks & Spencer. "I’d never really considered childrenswear before having my daughter. I’d trained in womenswear and actually spent most of my career in menswear which I love but when I had H, I was thrown into this baby world and I was really shocked at the limited choice, poor quality and stereotypical colours and prints. This was emphasised even more when we went on our first holiday. That holiday changed everything where a small idea grew and 12 months later we launched the first collection!"
When it comes to Little Hotdog Watson's design and aesthetics, Watson's vision for the brand is to depart from stereotypical pastel colours and throwaway trends. She aims to challenge and redefine the norm for childrens' clothing by creating designs that are quirky, durable, colourful and most importantly, intelligent.
"My designs are all about confidence so we never shy away from colours, patterns or clashing prints. As a designer I like products that look good but also work well. What’s the point of having a gorgeous top that’s only suited for dry cleaning? I love innovative and smart designs... I think there are so many clever fashion technologies around but they are only used in sportswear or very beige looking products. So my vision is to combine the best innovative tech with the best original designs."
"For me everything starts with research - finding out the problem, solving it and then making it look good. Once I know that, I start my trend development and from here I work out the prints I want to develop for my collection then it goes to production and testing. It probably takes up to 12 months from start to finish. I really don’t rush the process and I don’t force an idea. I find that the best selling prints and hats have always been the ones that come together most naturally."
Despite a packed schedule for the busy mumtrepreneur, Watson makes sure to devote quality time to her family - especially with her daughter, H. And as for what's in store in the future, the designer said that she'd like to firmly establish the brand as the go-to place for the best hats in the world. "Little Hotdog Watson is in such an exciting period of growth. Our Spring-Summer collection will be in China for the second year following its sell-out success within two days last year and I am thrilled to be launching in over 20 stores in South Korea!” said Watson.
The tech behind the hats:
UPF50+ Sun Protection to protect young skin from harsh UVA + UVB rays
Built-in ‘Buzz Off’ bug repellent which lasts up to 30 washes (or sea/pool soaks)
‘Goldilocks Fabric’ which adapts to keep little heads from overheating
High-quality cotton that are machine washable