Last year an Instagram page @annafielondon caught my attention for its gorgeous traditional children’s clothing and I ‘liked’ quite a few of the posts, which began an interaction between myself and the owner. It turns out we live very near to each other and have a lot of the same interests! Then, a few months ago, I was invited to meet with the owner of Annafie, Leonie von Schweinitz, at her home in London.
Annafie has been around since 2005 and is known for its high-quality fabrics and craftsmanship, its beautiful hand-smocking and its responsible sourcing. If you’re wondering where you’ve heard the name Annafie before, you may just have seen it in the news. Annafie really burst onto the scene a few years ago when Prince George, eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was photographed wearing an Annafie romper!
Leonie, who is also a mum and has a daughter of a similar age to my Isla, explained to me over a coffee while our children played together, that she loves the idea of children being dressed as children rather than mini-adults, a concept I agree with wholeheartedly! Leonie left her previous office job to take over the company in February 2019, and since then has mostly sold business to business. But, since then, Leonie has had such great feedback from direct customers that she is beginning to do more direct sales via her website as well.
The enduring quality of Annafie clothing is particularly appealing to mums conscious of the detrimental effect of throwaway fashion on the environment, as high quality, long lasting Annafie clothing is perfect to hand down from generation to generation and can be saved to eventually become priceless family heirlooms. Leonie is currently working on rebranding Annafie to modernise the brand and make it her own, but she has vowed tostay true to the timeless, traditional style of Annafie.
Each Annafie piece is hand-smocked and hand-embroidered by very skilled craftswomen who spend hours on each dress (each one takes around eight hours to complete). These are dresses that can really be worn, not consigned to the wardrobe, only coming out on special occasions. All the cotton pieces can be washed and worn over and over, which is music to any mum’s ears!
I was not only completely won over by the brand, but also by Leonie herself, who was so lovely to chat with. At the end of our time together, Leonie let us have a look through all her gorgeous dresses and choose one for Isla! We left with a beautiful ‘lolly’ dress and a pretty pink cropped cashmere cardigan which Leonie kindle gifted to us. Isla loves wearing her “princess” dress, and true to the Annafie ethos, she wears it to everything from birthday parties to playdates and I wash it for her to wear again!
One final note, Leonie is working hard towards making Annafie a sustainable fashion brand. She is currently switching to compostable mailing bags and recycled packing materials and is hoping to launch an organic capsule collection this year. And that gets a definite thumbs up from me!