"Debenhams is a real treat for high street shoppers. We have something that sets us apart - the range and expertise of the designers that we work with."
Simon Hill, senior girlswear designer at Debenhams
Introducing, Simon Hill, senior girlswear designer at Debenhams
Simon, why did you decide to work in childrenswear?
I have had a fairly long career of flitting in-between designing girls and ladies wear, but my heart has always been in designing for kids. About 18 months after graduating I took a job in childrenswear, decided it was more fun and even though I have done ladies wear throughout my career, I have always returned to children's fashion - for the fun factor!
What are your own earliest fashion memories?
I was probably one of the smartest dressers at school. I wore lots of pastel eighties style jumpers with patterns, matching ties and shirts with flecked trousers - those were the first signs that I was probably more interested in fashion than most people where I grew up!
What kind of words spring to mind when you think of Debenhams childrenswear?
Debenhams kidswear is fun, with a fashion edge, and I like to think we cater for everyone. Whether you are looking for nursery wear, or play wear, all the way through to special occasions including for weddings and christenings, for boys and girls.
[EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS Behind the scenes designer's eye views] Simon gives us a personal tour of the collections...
What is new and exclusive for Debenhams?
Ted Baker has created an exclusive childrenswear collection for us. Everything for that is designed in-house at Debenhams, working very, very closely with the Ted Baker in-house team. For girls, it is is very print orientated and beautifully eye-catching.
Can you give us any hot fashion tips for autumn winter 2014?
One of the biggest things for next winter season will be an abundance of texture, and also colour - pastels, and strongly pigmented pastels sitting against grey and navy (especially navy for Jasper Conran - as always!).
There are lots of innovations in knitwear to also look out for at Debenhams - watch this space!
Why should parents shop at Debenhams for children's fashion?
It's a one-stop-shop, especially for summer: we have a brilliant selection of swimwear. Debenhams is a real treat for high street shoppers. We have something that sets us apart, and that is the range and expertise of the designers that we work with. We work closely with the Jasper Conran, Julien Macdonald and the John Rocha teams, and have a great relationship with them, which translates into gorgeous pieces for our customers to dress their children in.
How does it feel when you see a child wearing a design you have been involved in?
It feels amazing! You can walk past and see a child wearing a Jasper Conran dress or a Ted Baker shirt, and it feels fantastic. I still get a buzz, even though I have been doing it for years now - it never gets old. It's great seeing anyone wearing something you have designed. I am lucky enough to have two daughters, so they tend to wear quite a lot of the Designers at Debenhams collections.