'Olive Loves Alfie', a children's store in London, was established in 2006 with a hand picked selection of inspiring and imaginative children's clothing, home-wares, toys and games. Against the traditional gender-styled landscape of children's retail and design, 'Olive Loves Alfie' has an anarchic spirit that follows a creative and directional path.
Without exception, all of the products at Olive Loves Alfie must qualify by their quality and design to have hand-me-down potential, or to become modern heirlooms. Blazing the style trail in the world of children's retail, 'Olive Loves Alfie' has found a niche as "the most inspiring children's independent in the country". With an exciting selection of home-wares, women's wear and bespoke artist collaborations, it has become the destination family lifestyle store not only for discerning parents, but also for established and emerging designers seeking the 'Olive Loves Alfie' seal of approval.
With a background in fashion, founder Ashlyn Gibson ran her own label in the 80's and went on to become the Creative Director for Footwear at Britain's iconic label 'Red or Dead'. The last two decades have been one long adventure. Travelling around the world in search of design inspiration has resulted in a pile of sketch books and well-thumbed maps for the bohemian quarters of cities from London to Tokyo; and an address book full of the most inspiring shops, galleries and flea markets around the world. Distilling all these ideas together, and combining them with the inspiration of new family life, Ashlyn turned her focus in a different direction.
In a culture where children are bombarded with a parade of too much choice and not enough value, she felt that there was a need to go back to basics. "I have fond memories of growing up in the 70's. Our clothes were either home made, handed down, or customised to be made our own. The games we played were all about make-believe."
'Olive Loves Alfie' has grown into so much more than a store. Not only has it become a breeding ground for many collaborative projects and creative events for children, it also helps designers to develop their ideas. Having worked successfully in an advisory capacity with many designers trying to break into the UK market, the consultancy 'Olive Says' was launched in 2010.