Deborah Medhurst from No Added Sugar
Since my daughter was born (6 years ago) I have been a big fan of the brand No Added Sugar. Founded in 2001, the brand has grown from selling baby T shirts, to a beautiful range of baby, boys, and girls wear with exceptional quality and design. I caught up with the lady behind the brand, Deborah Medhurst. .
How did you become a kid’s fashion designer?
I was trained as an interior designer but left the industry at the onset of the acid house scene in the late ‘80’s. The lure of illegal parties, the new Balearic beat and the freedom of the scene was intoxicating, so much so that I set up a clubbing brand, Pushca, and ran that for 10 years. When I had my first baby in 2000 I quickly discovered that the kids fashion land was as dull as dishwasher and felt inspired to bring some energy and modernity to baby wear.
Where do you seek inspiration from when designing a collection?
Little things can trigger a thought process; something one’s spies on the street, a painting, a particular colour. It’s taking all those little inspirations and developing a story. Lots of research enables it to link together and become coherent or at least that’s what we aim for?!
Talk me through your SS15 collection- the use of colours etc.
SS15 is a play with illusions, how the heat of high summer distorts what we see. We named the collection ‘Things Aren’t Always Quite What They Seem’. We chose clean but intense colours such as Rhubarb, Fizzy Sherbert, Strawberry Jelly and Bluebell and used prints that had a smudged, painterly feel. As we do each season, we developed our own print and this season was a check with an ombre used in different colour options across the Boys and Girls collection.
You have a collaboration next summer with Marlon Richards- how did that come about and what can we expect?
We know Marlon and saw some designs he’d created for menswear and were smitten. His artworks have such an energy and bonkers-ness that is so much our style. Hs approach to kidswear was very much in line with our ethos too – it really doesn’t need to be kiddy. We’ve always designed our collections with the bigger kid in mind. Expect a range of Boys artworks that are used across T’s, sweatshirt and knit. The T’s use Polar White and pastels as a base equating to pretty bases but utterly punchy designs. Essentailly expect the unexpected!
Would you like to collaborate with anyone else in the future?
Most definitely, its been a really exciting and positive experience. Marlon is quite a special character and just being in his company is always rewarding
I am also fascinated by someone else’s take on what we do. One is so close to the coal face that a new perspective can be compelling and feels very positive.
What would you never dress a child in?
Mostly anything they resist. You need to pick your battles.
But fundamentally anything scratchy or stiff – we pay particular attention to the hand feel of our fabrics, if we find it offensive then it’s a definite ‘no’ for a lttle body. How could you, why would you…?
What does style mean to you…tell me about your personal style
Style evolves. I liken that process to human beings; we evolve as people, our choices mature. For me style is a moving feast and most importantly, not to be a closed door…you never know what you might fall in love with….
You’re a businesswoman, designer and mother, what do you do to unwind?
Uplifting music, lively conversation with friends, a sunny day, happy chatty children, family get-together’s, hot scented baths and bedtime reading – all these things allow me to switch off/slow down and remind me of ‘me’ and to value the things I hold dear.
When you are not busy working, what do you enjoy doing with the family?
My big boy is now at the age when he wants to be out doing his own thing so just having him around feels a bit of a treat. There is also a resistance now for days out together so the best times we can glean at this point is us all getting out on our bikes. For something so simple there is an extraordinary amount of pleasure to be gained.
Check out the full SS15 collection here