Heidi Klein's - Heidi Gosman
One half of the dynamic duo behind Heidi Klein, Heidi Gosman talks shop and all things beachwear.
Started in 2002 by two business colleagues who became friends, Heidi Klein swimwear was the UK’s first one-stop holiday shop. Since then Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein’s company has gone from strength to strength branching in to childrenswear, accessories and home décor.
RL: In 14 years you have gone from one shop to 150 stores in 39 countries. Tell us about the journey.
HG: Penny and I worked together in marketing and business then became good friends. We were working together on a project for a client about airport spend and holiday mind set…. We noticed a gap in the market for beautiful swimwear sold all year round and launched Heidi Klein.
RL: Career path?
HG: My mother was an interior designer so I always had an interest in the creative industry. I studied Business and Marketing at University and then worked in media consulting, where we met. As Creative Director, I look after the branding, public relations and design whilst Penny oversees the commercial side. We complement each other perfectly.
HG: Our friendship is one of the reasons we have been successful. We have great business chemistry and complemented each other’s strengths and weakness.
RL: What is unique about the HK brand? Why has it been so successful?
HG: We fit each style seven times to ensure it is absolutely perfect. Compared to other beachwear brands, we are unique in putting so much emphasis on achieving an impeccable cut. We know bodies do not fit into a handful of categories, so we are committed to offering flexibility and hidden support. Our shoppers know that Heidi Klein swimwear will deliver a sleek silhouette time after time.
RL: Do you still design all the collections yourself? How do you approach each season and capsule collection?
HG: I have a fabulous design team and we design all the collections in my studio at the London head office. We use research from old magazines, movies, attending runway shows and my constant travels as inspiration for each collection. Then we sit down and decide on names, styles and prints for each story. I love seeing the styles come to life and hearing the positive feedback from customers.
RL: Have you ever been in a creative rut and how did you get out of it?
HG: I have an extremely talented team behind me and they continue to inspire me every day. They show brilliant insight into important areas of the business. Finding the right people has been key to our growth. I have such respect for all their incredible work.
RL: Tell us about the My Body range and how it came about.
HG: We launched My Body as an innovative range of perfectly fitting, instant toning swimwear. It is expertly cut to flatter any shape so you can walk with confidence on any beach. It sits within each story in the collection to provide the perfect fit for you when choosing your swimwear.
RL: What is the number one mistake women make when buying swimwear?
HG: There is a common misconception that full coverage bottoms are better for a larger bottom but this is incorrect. A larger brief will accentuate the bottom area rather than disguise it, so shoppers should opt for something well-fitting.
RL: How has the rise of social media and online sales affected your approach to business?
HG: Online shopping makes our beachwear more accessible. Shoppers are able to purchase from home or work rather than coming into our boutique. We have now also launched a Fit By Phone service in which customers can call from around the world to speak to our swim specialists on purchasing the right piece for them.
RL: You’re both mums and businesswomen. Talk to us about the balancing act, if there is one.
HG: It’s all about having a balance. Of course with so many pressures and commitments from children, work and family, it is so easy to lose yourself. I think the secret is to make sure you have time for yourself. I adore early morning walks with my dog before anyone else is awake. Also, I make sure I spend quality time with my children which means no looking at my phone or computer. I always give them my full attention.
RL: You were recently in Cayman shooting the upcoming collection. How does it reflect the island?
HG: I fell in love with Cayman's stunning scenery, its breath-taking views and would love to visit again. It was the perfect setting for our shoot and inspired our Cayman Islands story – vibrant red swim and cover ups with elegant gold detailing. I know our Heidi Klein shoppers will adore it.
RL: What can we expect from the next collection?
HG: Our Resort 2017 collection launches from October to February and offers a chic selection of prints, crochet, classic pieces, a twist on boho and a definite nod to the minimalist nautical look running across both swim and cover ups. We have a gorgeous selection of lightweight kaftans, mini dresses, oversized shirts, playful jumpsuits plus our sporty rash vests in UPF 50+ protective fabric.
RL: In three words describe the HK brand.
HG: Timeless, luxurious, elegant.
Beach bag essentials: St. Barths Roucou Oil, our Heidi Klein wide brim hat, a bandeau bikini, my vintage gold cuff bought in Verona and Sisley Eau de Campagne fragrance – it is so fresh and elegant.
Dream holiday: Italy
Go-to sundowner: Gin & Tonic
Most memorable meal: I adore the fresh fish at Da Adolfo on Laurito Beach in the Amalfi Coast.
Favourite piece you’ve designed: Honfleur Bandeau one-piece
Proudest accomplishment: Opening our boutique in Chelsea.
Best advice given & received: Research, research, research!
Vice: My Smythson Diary. The office is trying to get me to convert to Outlook!
Motto: Work hard and you will reap the rewards.
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