Today I’d like to introduce you Belinda Blooman, the beautiful ‘face’ behind great Australian baby and kids fashion label, Baobab.

Belinda has lived all over the world, and has been a fashion industry professional all her adult life. The combination of these experiences has culminated  in the freshness and uniqueness of Baobab.

Baobab is one of my personal favourite labels for my kids. Belinda is such a warm and energetic person, and she’s imbued her label with this spirit: the clothes are visually dynamic, and designed to be lived in with passion.

Belinda lives in Sydney with her muse – 6 year old daughter Anya.

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Tell us a little about your background? How did you come to be a baby and kids fashion designer?

I have always been involved in fashion in one way or another. I remember skipping sport at school so I could hide away in the library and immerse myself in out-of-date issues of Paris Match and French Vogue!

In my ‘pre-Baobab’ existence I worked as a model (in my 20′s), followed by a stint in retail and buying  (for Versace and Prada), and a photographer’s agent and producer of fashion stills shoots. I’ve moved around a lot too; I lived in Japan, Spain and France before moving back to Sydney.

Baobab came about with the birth of my daughter Anya, and the desire to dress her in lovely, simple and comfortable clothing that wasn’t covered in Disney characters or brand logo’s.

My aim was to develop a label of modern children’s basics, made from soft 100% cotton knit with a sumptuous feel and simple but stylish look. I was intent on making Baobab fun for kids but also practical for parents, meaning easy to dress, easy to wear, easy to wash and affordable.

What inspires your work, and what do you want to inspire in others though your work?

My daughter, Anya is my primary source of inspiration as like most children, she has a truly magical view of the world. She is now 6 and has a very strong individual style. I find her way of combining colours and wrapping fabric around herself to be quite awe-inspiring.

I am also inspired by the everyday things around me… in nature, art, object design, vintage clothing, retro films and obscure online design sites.

I would like to think that the children who wear Baobab clothing can really just be themselves, relishing in their own creativity, running around, getting dirty and having fun. Baobab is about encouraging self-expression.

Who are your top 3 favourite baby and kids designers?

I love European kids labels as they have access to amazing fabrics and there is a true workmanship in their garments. Some of my favourites are:

Petit Bateau – for wonderful classic basics for kids (and adults). They make great quality cotton and I am mad about their kids undies which we stock up on whenever in Europe.

Imps&Elfs – a Dutch label with brilliant contemporary basics for babies and kids. It’s quite wearable but with a definite rock n roll edge.

Maan – a gorgeous Belgian label. Maan make really beautiful clothing from amazing fabrics in amazing colours. I love the Maan look.

What are your favourite things to do with your daughter?

At the moment we love to swim, we are both Cancers (crabs). We go to a variety of Sydney beaches and ocean pools but our favourite at the moment is Wylie’s in Coogee. We love to swim together in the clean water, climb the rock platform and re-house the shell creatures in the rock pools. We can lose ourselves for hours.

If you had one whole day to spend as you wish, what would you do?

I would like to take Anya back to the Cotswold house of my uncle, and on a perfect English summers day, have lunch under the willow tree surrounded by family and dogs. Or in autumn, we would travel by gondola along the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco in Venice, marveling at the golden beauty. Or we could walk down down Omote Sando dori in Tokyo, for the best window shopping and stop for coffee and sandwiches at my favourite café in the back streets of Aoyama.

Or we could just spend a glorious summers afternoon at home, the windows and doors open wide, kids running through the house dressed up as princesses and fairies, the dog sleeping on his chair and I would be busy planting, weeding and raking the garden – heaven! In fact that was our day today!

What is your favourite childhood memory?

Riding my bicycle with friends from the street, pedaling madly down the canal and through the back streets of Cape Town, South Africa, where I grew up. In those days things were more relaxed and we could disappear for hours. What a sense of freedom we had.

Complete this sentence “baobab is…”

“Essential ‘everydaywear’ encouraging self-expression in kids.”

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Baobab Autumn/Winter 2009 is currently in-store.