When Alana Tiller had her first baby in 2015, she realised how hard it was to find stylish kids’ clothes that lasted beyond a single growth spurt.
“There were some cool kids’ brands coming out of Europe, but I couldn’t find much here,” Tiller says. “I had the idea to create something with longevity that was unisex so it could be passed down [to] friends and family.”
While still on maternity leave from her job as a buyer for bedding company Adairs, Tiller hatched a plan with her friend Chris Kontos, a former marketing manager for Harris Scarfe.
By the time her Tiller’s son Judson turned three in mid-2017, they were ready to launch Goldie & Ace.
“It’s a really nostalgic brand, going back to the fashions of our childhood,” says Tiller. “We talk about it having a lifespan, because if you’re investing in quality clothing it might cost a bit more initially, but it can be mended or passed down to friends and family.”
Tiller and Kontos draw on their memories of growing up Australia in the ’80s and ’90s for their designs, which are mostly unisex.
The Family Ties collection, which launched in sizes zero to four earlier this year, includes tiny acid-wash mum jeans; mini chinos; retro Uluru-print jumpers; cute knits featuring strawberries and sloths; and cockatoo sweaters.
“Alana had [a parka like that] when she was five,” Kontos says. "She had no photos of it, so designed it from the idea of it she had from that time. The rest of the collection then evolved from that one piece.”
“We keep selling out of them, and also our matching tracksuits,” says Kontos. “And now with everyone staying home at the moment, the tracksuit is more relevant than ever.”
In terms of durability, Goldie & Ace uses a lot of long-staple cotton, which is less likely to fray or pill than regular cotton, and can even become softer over time. Many items in the range are adjustable, such as the overalls, and pants and bodysuits are made with long cuffs that can be folded down as kids grow.
Online orders are mailed in compostable cornstarch satchels, and contain a thank-you card and some seeds that children can plant. “We want to educate little ones about looking after the environment,” says Tiller.
As for the name Goldie & Ace? “We wish we had a really great story, but we just thought it was a cool name,” Kontos says.
“They’re probably the names I’d give all our kids if my husband would let me,” Tiller adds.