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Kimberley Walsh

23 July 2018

As the former Girls Aloud star and mum-of-two launches her first kids’ clothing collection exclusively with Next, kidswear editor Maggie Davis catches up with her to talk fashion, parenting and how her sons inspired her.

It’s early on a summer’s morning and we’re in a north London studio to talk through Kimberley Walsh’s new kidswear collection, Kimba Kids. The singer-turned-presenter, who is currently on our screens in Channel 4 TV drama Ackley Bridge, with stints on ITV’s Lorraine, is bubbling with excitement. “It’s been a real labour of love,” she explains. “I’m so excited to finally getting it out there!”

Kimberley, a true professional, who, these days describes herself as “90 per cent mum, 10 per cent anything else”, turned up for the shoot early to check through the clothes. She chats and sings merrily (in perfect tune) to the background soundtrack as she gets her make-up done. The 36-year-old has a warm northern lilt and a radiant natural beauty with fine features, twinkly eyes and a smile that lights up the studio. Her calm, friendly demeanour immediately puts everyone at ease.

The collection was directly inspired by her sons, Cole, one, and Bobby, three. The idea was born when Bobby was just one and a half. “I got fed up of only being able to put him in blue and nautical clothing and I was, like, not all kids want to wear that. Some boys look great in colour!” Kimberley has been working on the collection for nearly two years to ensure everything from the look and feel to the prints and labelling are just right. “I spent a long time picking each colour to go in the unisex camouflage print and it took a while to find a factory that could produce the soft jersey I wanted to guarantee kids’ comfort,” she explains.

As a result, the collection is full of bright, unisex designs in easy-to-wear shapes and a comfortable jersey fabric, all made with her boys in mind. “My boys live in hoodies, sweaters and tracksuits. They dictate what they wear. They are both so active.”

The range takes its name from Kimberley’s nickname in Girls Aloud, the girl band she was part of, alongside Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Cheryl Tweedy on and off from 2002 to 2013. “I was known in the band as Kimba and I thought it just really works with the brand. It sounds young and childlike,” she says.

Born and raised in Bradford, Yorkshire, one of four siblings, Kimberley met her husband, Justin Scott, 35, a former Triple8 band member and now a property developer, at a concert in 2003 and they married in Barbados in 2016. They now live in Barnet in north London with their boys, with her mum, sister and close friends nearby to offer support.

Kimberley’s parenting tips are supportive and reassuring; “talk to other mums”, “trust your instincts”, and “whatever you are doing, it’s enough”. Perhaps, most importantly, she says, “don’t compare yourself to the perfection on social media – that’s not real!” She’s also refreshingly realistic about looking after a newborn. “I think it’s hard at first because it’s such a shock to the system. You can never really prepare yourself until you’ve experienced it. The first six months are tough, until you get into your stride.”

Does she miss her glamorous life on the road with Girls Aloud? “It feels a little bit like a past life. It was long time ago now when I look back to the early days. We are all going through the next stage in life. These days we meet up with the kids and let them run wild while we drink tea. Me and Cheryl are very close – there’s only a few months between Bear [Cheryl’s son] and Cole so we try to get them together as much as we can.”

Meanwhile, she’s tending her new baby – the brand new fashion line, available to order from today – with immense pride. “It’s a natural partnership – I shop at Next for the boys and it’s perfect for the look and price. I want parents sitting at home internet shopping for their kids to be able to afford it,” she says with a proud – and radiant – Kimberley smile.


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