|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)|
|Awards||Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)|
Catherine Isabel Audrey "Cath" Kidston, MBE, is an English fashion designer, businesswoman 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.
Cath Kidston's grandfather Glen Kidston was a successful racing driver for Bentley in the 1920s. Kidston's uncle is the former chairman of Christie's Charles Henry Allsopp, 6th Baron Hindlip and his daughters, television presenters, Kirstie Allsopp and Sofie Allsopp her cousins.
Raised with three other siblings near Andover in Hampshire, Kidston 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. Both her parents died of cancer, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer, aged 37.
Kidston's partner is the 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 1993, selling hand-embroidered tea-towels and brightly renovated furniture. She later described it as just a "glorified junk shop". By the end of 2013, there were 136 outlets, including a flagship store on Piccadilly next to Fortnum & Mason and four stores in China. Appearing on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme, Kidston 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.". In 2010, she sold a majority stake of the company to private equity investors TA Associates, retaining a minority stake and remaining the company's Creative Director.
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.
- "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 (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.
- Garside, Juliette (6 December 2013). "Cath Kidston could fetch up to £250m". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Hall, James (2010-12-05). "Cath Kidston plans Far East push – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 29 April 2011.