So this morning I attended the bloggers breakfast for the Candy Kittens Christmas pop up store in Kingley Court, London. First of all I have to point out that in order to make it there on time, I had to be up at 5.30am, and I wouldn’t do that for just anyone Jamie Laing! Given that I couldn’t properly function without my Starbucks, Jamie came bounding in just after 8am, introduced himself to everyone and got settled whilst we all took hundreds of photos of the products (whilst eyeing up any potential freebies). Wraggamuffins very kindly donated some delicious muffins which went down a treat and, combined with the lively decor and Jamie’s infectious energy, pretty much brought everyone to life.
Jamie has this charming enthusiasm that is almost impossible not to like, and it is entirely reflected in the Candy Kitten brand; everything about the pop up store channels the fun, energetic personality that Jamie is renowned for. He is intent on the belief that with charm you can get anywhere in life, and by the look of it, he’s living evidence. The Candy Kitten brand, which was officially introduced in May, has flourished since then, drawing in drones of teenage girls (and some slightly older…I’m with whoever suggested Cougar Kittens) to establish a very successful business.
The brand itself has a demographic of 14-22 year old girls, to which it caters to amazingly well, however, perhaps unsurprisingly one of the best sellers are the “Pardy” pants, which I was immediately drawn to when we entered the shop. My theory is that these are favoured by people more my age (23) than the 14 year olds, for banter if anything else, but it’s also more of a subtle representation of the brand if you don’t want a t-shirt emblazoned with “I’m a Candy Kitten”; it’s an item that (hopefully) not everyone will see when you wear it.
As far as I am concerned, there is not just one word to sum up the identity of the Candy Kitten brand, but if I had to pick one it would probably be unpredictable. The host of ideas that Jamie has goes beyond anything I could have comprehended. Essentially, he told us that he wants an Abercrombie&Fitch style store (a permanent one as opposed to a pop up store like this one) with his gorgeous Candy Kittens on the door and then, you won’t believe this, a giant slide that replaces the idea of a staircase, a ball pit, and…a room that’s a bed. It would be impossible to describe Jamie Laing as unimaginative, the eclectic range of ideas he comes out with, it really is no wonder he idolises Willy Wonka and Peter Pan (as well as considering himself confectionary’s answer to Hugh Hefner), the ‘little boi’ is underestimated.
Jamie was asked a few questions about the Candy Kittens themselves and the link between the girls and the sweets, which he explains is inspired by brands like Abercrombie&Fitch and Hollister, where the brand is represented by beautiful people, making the product more desirable and appealing. This then led on to a conversation about Victoria’s Secret Angels, as the Victoria’s Secret pink is visible throughout the merchandising of the brand and the interior of the pop up store, and so therefore are the Candy Kittens supposed to be his answer to the Angels? He explained that although the Candy Kittens are obviously all stunning, he wanted them to have an extra element of fun, a more accessible girl-next-door vibe compared to the eliteness of the Victoria’s Secret Angels. The differentiation between the two helps us to understand what the Candy Kitten is ultimately about, and that is being young and having fun, an element which ultimately is extremely significant in an age where kids are so anxious to grow up too early.
In terms of the products themselves, the pop up store houses a variety of merchandise from lollies, sweets, iPhone cases, stationary, bags, jumpers, t-shirts, hats, advent calendars, the whole shebang, with a range of gummy bears anticipated for the new year . All of it is branded with either “Candy Kittens” or one of Jamie’s infamous phrases such as “Yea Boi” or “Pardy” which, if you watch Made In Chelsea, you will no doubt be familiar with. The colour theme and style of the range is very pretty and girly, most of it a bright shade of pink to attract it’s younger demographic, with some charcoal, light grey and white pieces for the rest of us who don’t wear pink, including my amazing “YEA BOI” jumper that Jamie kindly gave me (thank you!) It’s probably my favourite product and it’s SO comfortable and warm, I absolutely love it. Very happy Sarah.
In terms of the future, the Candy Kittens brand is wishing for a permanent store here in London, as well as one in New York and further development of it’s confectionary range as that is where it’s roots still lie. With Jamie’s charm and enthusiasm, supervised by the slightly more sensible Ed, I have little doubt that this brand will grow into an even more successful business, the beginning of a new era of sweets that ever so slightly surpasses the nostalgic legend that was the Woolworths Pick ‘n’ Mix stand.
All in all an amazing day, well worth getting up so early! Thanks for having me Jamie Laing, Candy Kittens and Emerge Limited :)