|Born||Catherine Isabel Audrey Kidston
6 November 1958
Marylebone, London, England
|Organization||Cath Kidston Limited|
|Known for||Floral prints and patterns|
|Relatives||Kirstie Allsopp (cousin)|
Catherine Isabel Audrey Kidston MBE (born 6 November 1958 and generally known as Cath Kidston is an English fashion designer, businesswoman,an entrepreneur and author whose company, Cath Kidston Limited sells home furnishings and related goods through shops, online and by mail order, most products being made with her floral prints. In February 2010, the company was valued at £75 million. She is particularly known for her nostalgic floral patterns and has also published a number of books.
Kidston's uncle is the former chairman of Christie's Charles Henry Allsopp, 6th Baron Hindlip and his daughters, television presenters, The Honourable Kirstie Allsopp and The Hon. Sofie Allsopp her cousins.
Raised with three other siblings near Andover in Hampshire, she was educated at a number of English boarding schools, before moving to London aged 18. She was employed by the socialite Nicky Haslam before setting up an interiors business with a friend, then opening her own shop.
Kidston's partner is record producer Hugh Padgham, whom she met as his decorator. They have homes beside the Thames in West London, and in Gloucestershire. She has a step-daughter Jessica and a Lakeland terrier Stanley who features in her designs. Kidston is dyslexic.
After recovering from breast cancer, Kidston opened her first shop in London's Holland Park in 1994, selling hand-embroidered tea-towels and brightly renovated furniture,. She later described it as just a "glorified junk shop". As of April 2011, there were 41 shops and concessions in the UK, two in the Republic of Ireland, eleven in Japan and three in Korea, with more due to open in the latter two countries. Appearing on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme, she described her shops as provoking a 'Marmite reaction' - "People either love it and want a little bit of it very much, or want to stab us.".
Kidston shop window display, with company logo
|Founded||13 April 1993|
The company's profits jumped more than 60 per cent from £2.9million to £4.6million in the year to March 2009. Sales rose to £31.3m during the period, compared with £19.3m the year before, partly due to new store openings.
Kidston has worked with Milletts to design tents (2005-6), Nokia/ Carphone Warehouse (mobile phones, 2006) and Roberts (radios, 2005 onwards). In 2008 she collaborated with Tesco to produce shopping bags made from plastic bottles, which were sold to raise almost £500,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care and saved about six million plastic bottles from landfill.
- Companies House Annual Return for Cath Kidston Limited, 12th October 2010
- "About Cath Kidston". Cath Kiston Limited. Retrieved 29 April 2011.[dead link]
- Hale, Beth (2010-02-23). "Cath Kidston to pocket £30m from sale of brand 20 years after shop assistant created famous nostalgic designs | Mail Online". Mail Online (London). Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- "Desert Island Discs: Cath Kidston | BBC". BBC. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Wood, Zoe (2009-08-09). "Queen of florals Cath Kidston bucks the recession to profit from love of nostalgia". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Layton, Josh (7 May 2012). "Stranger relatives: Holly Valance is related to Benny Hill and the celebrities with fame in the family...". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "CATH KIDSTON LIMITED: OpenCorporates". OpenCorporates. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Hall, James (2010-12-05). "Cath Kidston plans Far East push - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 29 April 2011.