Fashion

hypekids Exclusive: How Nathalie Genty Transports Melijoe's Parisian Chic to the World

The childrenswear retailer is planning a world takeover.

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For a decade, Melijoe has been the leading online children’s retailer in France. Now the site’s founder Nathalie Genty is expanding the site’s reach, first setting her sights on the United Kingdom. We recently caught up with the Parisian mother-of-five to learn about her favorite neighborhood in Paris, her plans for Melijoe, and what trends she predicts will take off next spring. Read on to see our full conversation.

Melijoe Nathalie Genty Petit Bateau Gucci Paris London New York City Tribeca Shoreditch 10th arrondissement

Melijoe has a very French aesthetic, why did you want to expand to the UK?

We noticed we had more and more customers coming from the UK even though we weren’t actively doing any marketing here. I think UK customers have a close affinity with the French aesthetic and we want to inspire them with our Parisian perspective on style. We don’t dictate what style is, as we believe kids should express their individual personalities, and we like to encourage a mix of designer pieces with everyday and more affordable labels – this is the style DNA of Melijoe.

You cite the 10th arrondissement as a favorite neighborhood in Paris. Why do you love the style there? Do you have a favorite neighborhood in London? New York City?

The 10th arrondissement is a trendy, authentic Parisian area, but the recent developments have added some very cool places. People from the 10th have a very hipster style, kind of edgy yet effortless. In London, I love Shoreditch – it’s full of creative types and people who aren’t afraid to express their individual style personality.

In New York, it has to be Tribeca. The district has such a relaxed local feel with independent cafes, bars and restaurants. As you walk around the streets lined with the old warehouse buildings for hours, you really get the feel of old New York. One of my favorite restaurants is Bubby’s in Tribeca, which is a New York establishment.

Why do you think more designer brands are expanding into kids’ fashion?

I think the growth of social media, and in particular picture sharing platforms such as Instagram, means that the demand for designer clothing for children is bigger than ever – people love to share pictures of their kids all dressed up and now they have an audience!

As a result, more people are willing to invest in their children’s wardrobes, especially as they can pass any investment pieces down to siblings or relatives and family friends. This represents a wonderful opportunity for the design houses to play with different styles and create mini-me versions of their most iconic looks.

Melijoe Nathalie Genty Petit Bateau Gucci Paris London New York City Tribeca Shoreditch 10th arrondissement

What are some of the biggest trends you see in kids’ fashion this season?

Spring/Summer 2018 is going to be such a fun season. Some of the key trends we’re seeing include prints – tropical, floral and even art-inspired, prints are going to be huge next season. Also contrast – you can look forward to lots of juxtapositions of reds and pinks. Ice cream as well, we are seeing lots of pieces featuring this popular food across collections from many designers in Spring/Summer 2018.

For parents who can’t afford designer pieces for their kids, do you have any tips for keeping up with new styles and trends?

If you can, invest into a beautiful classic coat that you can reuse for your other kids or other children in the family. Then mix with more affordable brands like Molo, Petit Bateau, Carrément Beau, Someday Soon or Scotch and Soda. They have such on-trend pieces that remain affordable.

What are your favorite pieces for kids for the holidays?

The Bonpoint faux fur padded jumpsuit for babies, and the Burberry check jumpsuit. Love it.

Do you plan to expand Melijoe to other countries?

As we are an e-commerce platform we already have a truly global reach. From a brand and marketing perspective, we are first focusing on Europe – Melijoe is already the market leader in France. Once we are established in Europe, we will roll out our plans in the United States, which is already our second largest market. Russia and Middle East are also in our radar.

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