Heidi Gosman from Heidi Klein
In 2002 Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein launched heidi klein – the UK’s first one-stop holiday shop. The boutique in Notting Hill instantly transports you to warmer climes as soon as you enter. Whitewashed wood adorned with palm leaves, bleached coral and driftwood and the delicate aroma of coconut. The women’s swimwear collection offers beautiful swimwear with an impeccable fit and now sells in over 150 stores in 39 countries globally. They have a great celebrity following Kate Moss, Olivia Palmero, Sienna Miller and Jennifer Anniston have all been seen in the brands designs. Now they have turned their attention to the kids..yay! Earlier in the year the girls collection launched and just last week a range for the boys– plus chic espadrilles. I caught up with Heidi to find out more….
How did you both meet? How did you and Penny come to open up Heidi Klein?
Penny and I were working together on a project for a client about airport spend and holiday mind set and thought this is a brilliant idea, why don’t we do this ourselves? We noticed that most department stores were not stocking much swimwear out of season. We saw this gap and launched the one-stop beachwear shop concept.
You’ve built one of the most coveted and successful beachwear brands in the world. Why do you think the Heidi Klein brand appeals to such a wide range of consumers?
We make sure our pieces are exquisitely cut with fresh and elegant styles each season. We use luxury materials to give a perfect fit for all female shapes and also to make the pieces comfortable and easy to wear for children. Our pieces will last for a few seasons without stretching or discoloration. heidi klein takes you on a journey to feel confident and gorgeous on holiday…. With or without the children.
You design all the collections. Had you had previous design experience?
No formal design experience but I have always had a strong interest in design from my mother, who is an interior designer. Design was always a passion for me since I was very little.
As well as the gorgeous collections for women you have now moved into the kidswear market- why did you choose to go down this route?
The inspiration for the children’s collection came when I couldn’t find the beachwear for my daughter Madeleine, so we decided to design a collection which offered something a little different and special. I knew what I wanted my children to look like on the beach, and talked to other Mother’s about what they like and dislike to buy, and went from there. I think it is vital for children to feel comfortable first and foremost and protected from the sun then I like pretty subtle prints that mirror the sophistication in the mainline.
Explain what a typical day in the Heidi Klein office is…
One of the things I love most about my job is that no two days are the same. That is what makes it so much fun. I’m either visiting a factory, in the showroom for meetings, at a press event or in the studio with my design team. My days are constantly changing.
You are a mother and run a very successful business- what’s the secret to juggling it all?
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. Of course with so many pressures and commitments from children, work and family, it is so easy to lose yourself. I think the secret is to make sure you have time for yourself. I take early morning walks with the dog before anyone else is awake. I make sure I spend quality time with my children – no looking at my phone or computer – I always give them my full attention. Of course, I also have the help from my wonderful nanny.
When it comes to your everyday style which brands do you favour?
Celine, Vince, Chloe and Dior.
Where is your all time favourite holiday destination?
The illydic Amalfi Coast where I went on my honeymoon or the gorgeous LUX* Maldives resort. They are both absolutely stunning.
Finally what is your ultimate aim for the Heidi Klein the brand?
To develop in to a global lifestyle luxury brand.