by Jo on 25 Jul 2011
An incredible photo from the Steiff archives of Richard Steiff, nephew of founder Margarete, admiring his creation - the world's first teddy bear. Created in 1902, PB55 soon adopted the far cuddlier name of Teddy. This image was unearthed in preparation for the forthcoming Steiff documentary, airing on Wednesday 27th July at 11am on BBC Radio 4. Called 'The Shipwrecked Bears', Gyles Brandreth will be recounting the history of the world's most famous soft toy manufacturer and exploring the legend of the 3,000 bears that went missing on their way to New York in 1904. Records show that a New York toy company ordered 3,000 bears at the Leipzig toy fair to be delivered in time for Christmas. The bears were manufactured and packaged up for shipment, but there is no record of them reaching their destination. Now, if we could just find one, that would be our retirement sorted...
by Jo on 21 Jul 2011
In the excitement of preparing for our Christmas press show, we've not yet given a big shout out to new client Wild & Wolf. An insider secret - not for long! - manufacturer Wild & Wolf is responsible for gift ranges including Penguin Travel, Ladybird Books and activity tins, Scrabble, Rob Ryan, Celia Birtwell, V&A tools....the list goes on. We got first glimpse of the new A/W ranges before they shot off to New York trade fairs and were thrilled - that's our shopping done for Christmas! Abbey Road is a particular favourite - tins of pencils, notepads, laptop and gadget cases and more, emblazoned with vintage recording studio photography.
Here's a selection of Wild & Wolf wrapping paper perking up a corner since the show. What could there be cooler to cover your Christmas books in than old Penguin or Beano covers?
by Jo on 18 Jul 2011
Meet Zoe, Pippa, Lulu and Grace, soon appearing at My London Girl, the UK’s first standalone doll boutique opening in Westfield in the late summer. A unique mix and match concept, dolls are available in seven different skin tones, so girls can choose a doll that looks most like them. As well as the dolls themselves, the new store will be selling a range of doll’s outfits, from fairy, ballet and ice skating costumes complete with tiny ice skates to velvet party dresses, plus jeans, pinafores and trainers for more casual days. If that’s not cute enough, My London Girl will also be selling identical outfits for girls aged 3-12, thanks to exclusive collaborations with children’s clothing designers including David Charles, so little girls can dress like their dolls. Why didn’t this exist when WE were small? Mummy, it’s not fair!
29 Jun 2011
10, 9, 8, 7, 6....we're counting down to our new website launch. All will be revealed at midnight tonight, including a brand spanking new and ever so clever media library, complete with all our A/W and Christmas photography and press releases.
The new website coincides with our annual press show, where we'll be launching two exciting new brands and showcasing the latest and greatest from all our lovely clients...we can't wait to see you!
20 Jun 2011
Popcorn at the ready - this Wednesday sees Original BTC founder Peter Bowles making his television debut on The Apprentice. The contestants head off to France in an attempt to sell the best of British design to Paris's coolest boutiques, including Original BTC's 'Teapot' pendant light. We're on tenterhooks - will they do our beloved 'Teapot' justice? Will they return triumphant with a book full of orders or will they face the wrath of Sir Alan (and all at Portrait and Original BTC)? Repeat after us, boys and girls - bone china! Stoke on Trent! British manufacturing! Le afternoon tea!
14 May 2011
You saw it here first - a sneak preview of the fragrant and oh so stylish Conran Bath and Body, launching in store in September 2011. Perfect for adding a dash of Conran chic to bedrooms and bathrooms, the bottle design is based on the Kilner jar with two colourways matching the two fragrances. Conran 1 is rich and woody with notes of pepper, nutmeg and cardamom (mmmmm), while Conran 2 is a fresh, cooling fragrance with notes of fresh cut green stems and a hint of mandarin. The collection includes hand wash and hand cream, shower gel, body lotion and body scrub. Samples will be available from July.
14 Apr 2011
A news story on Grazia.co.uk tickled our fancy - 'Karl's many Kollaborations' featured a row of Karl doppelgangers alongside a list of the Kaiser's top 'kollaborations', including the too-cool-for-school Karl bear by Steiff in his mini sunglasses and signature black jacket and jeans.
13 Apr 2011
And just next door, the Original BTC factory, where components from Birmingham and Stoke on Trent are sent for assembly.
Here's a collection of metallic Stanley pendants, waiting to be threaded with Original BTC's signature cotton braided cable...
13 Apr 2011
A visit to Davey Lighting's Oxford factory today. While many of Davey's designs date back over 100 years, the assembly team certainly don't!
Previously available to trade customers only, Davey's in and outdoor lighting designs are the last word in industrial chic and sit perfectly with neighbour Original BTC's timeless aesthetic.
09 Mar 2011
Here's a selection of Steiff bears heading off on an awfully big adventure. It's their moment in the spotlight, on their way to a photoshoot for the Telegraph Magazine's forthcoming children's special.
They say never work with children or animals, but we're hoping the bears wil behave...