Wanderlust is the latest collection from Sydney based brand, Junior Blvd. Created by Louise Sykes, emerging designer and mother of two young boys, the latest collection takes inspiration from Hollywood in the 60’s and 70’s. With a retro inspired aesthetic, Louise has a passion for colour that is lively and energetic – a signature style of her designs.
Who is Junior BLVD and how did your brand come to be?
“Junior Blvd is an Australian made children’s clothing label for 0-12 year olds. We launched in December 2019, however the brand was two years in the making. I’ve been working towards it unknowingly since my first son was born ten years ago. I was always sketching and colouring little pictures and dreaming up mini collections.
Over the years, I’ve spent hours looking through fashion look-books and cutting out things that caught my eye. After having my babies, I noticed that there wasn’t the same number of options available for boys. So while the collection was designed for both boys and girls, our priority is quality and comfort because I know from experience, if something isn’t comfortable or it itches, they want to take it off!
Our current collection ‘Wanderlust’ is a mix of 70’s inspired cotton hoodies, track pants and shorts with a bit of a modern twist. We also have a beautiful bamboo range. The baby wear includes mix and match tops and bottoms that are so soft and gentle, even on the most sensitive skin. Bamboo is super versatile because it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”
What are your brand’s philosophies and values?
“It was very important to me from the very beginning that the manufacturing was done in Australia. It was tricky but I managed to pull it off. I’m so glad I did because our manufacturers do a beautiful job and the quality is gorgeous.”
What HAVE BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR?
“I love everything from the designing of the clothes to the campaign concept, photography to the graphic design. I’m just letting things flow in a natural direction.
I had an editorial published by Harper’s Bazaar Kids which was a personal goal I set myself months ago. I put together a shoot in Joshua Tree, California and I did all of the styling and photography myself. I’m very open to whatever comes my way. The older I get the less restrictions I put on myself and I try to say ‘yes’ to all opportunities that present themselves. I’m just having fun with it and doing what I love to do.”
We love the retro vibe and use of colour in your designs. Tell us a bit about the design procesS AND YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE WANDERLUST COLLECTION
“The design process always begins with sketches – lots of them. I sketch, then I print out copies, colour them in every different combination, cut them out and then I play around with them until I decide on the final choices. These then sit on a pin board that I stare at for a week or so and usually make another 20 changes!
Then I take these to my pattern maker who creates the patterns and then we make a sample of each piece. Once they are perfect we move into the manufacturing process.
For the first collection I was inspired by the 70’s style and just colour in general. I love colour and I wanted there to be a rainbow of choices.”
What are the biggest challenges of owning a business?
“The biggest challenge I face at the moment is having patience! Making clothing is a slow process, especially if you want it to be done well. It can’t just be churned out quickly, so I’m learning to have patience. I find when you’re waiting for things to happen, it’s important to keep your creativity flowing…
As we are all facing such a challenging time at the moment, I have put a hold on the manufacturing of the second collection. I have lowered all of the prices in the Wanderlust collection as much as possible to make it accessible.”
At Minty we are huge fans of sustainable, quality products and we know you are too!
“Yes sustainability is more important than ever! We chose eco-friendly bamboo as one of the main materials within the baby collection, as it’s so soft and gentle especially for those with sensitive skin. Our range is made in Australia which was super important to me. The quality is amazing. I’m so eager to get the range on a shop floor because I know once people walk past it and feel the fabric, they will love it too.“
What do you find the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business is?
“Honestly, it’s the connections I have made. The beautiful people that message and comment (on social media) and enjoy the vibe of our collection. Receiving photographs of children wearing the Wanderlust range from all over the world is so incredible. Having the editorial published with Bazaar Kids is something I will remember forever.”
What are three keywords that describe your business?
Quick fire Questions!
(Instagram) Favourite scroll stoppers:
@taylenbiggs – this little cutie adds so much sparkle to the world. She’s positive, funny and passionate. A genuinely sweet little girl.
@pasteque_retro – I love these two. Their posts are like no other. So creative and unique.
@lunamagcom – This is one of my favourite children’s magazines to scroll through.
(Design style) Less is more or more is more:
“I guess less is more… my designs in the Wanderlust collection are simple, but it’s the colour placements that make them unique.”
(Netflix/TV) Can’t switch off:
“Schitt’s Creek, Ozark, Get Shorty, Project Runway, Next in Fashion… so many!”
(Motherhood) Defining parenting moment:
“There are so many but I think right now is something we as parents haven’t had to face before. It’s the fear of the unknown that I am finding the hardest. I’m enjoying spending so much time with my boys though, watching their relationship blossom as they navigate through this time… in such close proximity.”
(Mindfulness) Quote that best sums you up:
“I love this one I came across not long ago… “Underestimate me… that will be fun”
Photography by Hayley Sparks