Born in Tasmania, Australia and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand, Emily Boniface has loved fashion since she was a little girl. “My mum tells me I inherited my love of fashion from my nana,” she said. “I worked in retail fashion stores off and on, so I was always around it, and we started the brand after our first child was born.” After her son was born, Boniface saw a gap in the New Zealand kids fashion market for locally designed, premium quality boys clothing at a reasonable price point. She felt there was plenty of cheap fast fashion hanging around, but then the prices would jump really high and was mostly brands from Australia. Radicool started out in 2013 as a boyswear line at a middle price point, and it flew off the hanger. The team then introduced a girls collection in 2014 after Boniface’s daughter was born.
“Our children River and Indie inspire every single piece we design. Our designs are also heavily influenced by our love of the surf, skate, 1980’s vibes that we grew up with.” Boniface envisages everything she creates on her kids, as she wants children to love the designs as well as the parents.
Each piece is designed in New Zealand and made by a manufacturer. “We work closely with our manufacturer overseeing all aspects of production.” Boniface travels to China twice a year to have a close relationship with their boutique manufacturing team. Quality is paramount to Radicool Kids; they want their product to last for years and be handed down to siblings. “We believe that less is more. That by spending a little more on a pair of good quality, ethically made pants is far better for you, the garment makers and the planet.”
Teaching children where their clothes come from is vital to the team at Radicool Kids. Each season they partner with an organisation that they believe in. Many of their designs are nature and animal-based, so they have been able to partner with organisations like Project Aware, NZ Forest and Bird, ALERT Lion conservation, and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. “We value giving back to our communities and those that are in need. Every year we send product out to children less fortunate. One year we kitted out a whole classroom of children in need with the help of KidsCan.”
Radicool Kids is celebrating their fifth birthday this year. Emily Boniface is the managing director and oversees their two stores and wholesale. Her husband Brendan is the creative director who looks after marketing and sales. Their seven retail staff members manage instore customers, online orders, and wholesale re-orders.
With two Radicool Kids stores, one flagship in Dunedin and one in Wellington, their collections can be found in over 50 stockists across Australia and New Zealand, including; Smith & Caugheys, North Beach, Ballantynes, and Surfstitch.
Boniface’s future goals include growing stockists internationally so the brand would be readily available worldwide, and to potentially franchise in New Zealand. To open an Australian store is also on the cards. “We’d love to give back even more to kiwi kids and families that need it most.”
For more information or to become a stockist, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.radicoolkids.com.