OUR INSPIRATION

OUR HERITAGE

Rachel comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her paternal grandfather established Riley’s Toyshop in the 1950’s and subsequently opened several other shops. To her delight as a child, her maternal grandfather set up a sweet shop. Rachel followed in their footsteps fifty years later, opening her own shop for children in 1998. Rachel was a child model, where the seeds of an interest in childrenswear began. Later, she took up modelling again, travelling the world and living in Paris, New York and Tokyo. It was during this time that she met her husband, a photographer, with whom she collaborates on the brand’s imagery and creative direction. Rachel started the label when she had three young children, realising there was a gap in the market for well made, comfortable, stylish and hard wearing clothes for babies and children.

OUR ARCHIVE

Rachel Riley grew up in London & has enjoyed a lifelong passion for the classic designs and glamorous style of the 50’s & 60’s. She has collected vintage childrenswear and baby paraphernalia for many decades, and these are lovingly stored in our London archive. Providing inspiration for shape, colour, print, fabrication, hand-work and other traditional details, these precious and nostalgic pieces have helped fashion the brand's aesthetic, making heirloom keepsakes to be passed down to future generations.

OUR PRINTS

Whether classic, whimsical or vintage inspired, our unique exclusive prints are designed in house and have been central to the brand's style from the start. Here are a few of our favourite designs, from over the years.

Print name & season

Print name & season

Print name & season

Print name & season

Print name & season

Print name & season

Print name & season

Print name & season

CRAFT

Rachel grew up crafting & making, learning needlework & dressmaking at school, and later, pattern-cutting and clothing design whilst working as a model in Paris. In 1994, she set up an atelier in the Loire Valley, France, using local seamstresses and pattern-cutters.This was the beginning of her childrenswear business. Designed for modern luxury and enduring quality, traditional craftsmanship is always adhered to, and hand-work, including hand embroidery, hand smocking and hand-intarsia is often used and always popular amongst our customers, appreciative of fine things.

In 1997, she bought the machinery and know-how from a local workshop making baby shoes & kids leather slippers. She had her machinists trained in the techniques of making these classic styles, with shoe lasts originating from the 1930's. All Rachel Riley footwear is still made in the traditional way, stitched on the outside, much like assembling a garment, hand-turned & heated on child-sized shoe forms. These range from layette size 16, which fits a baby of one month, to an adult size 40.