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Cath Kidston

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Cath Kidston
Born Catherine Isabel Audrey Kidston
(1958-11-06) 6 November 1958 (age 57)
Marylebone, London, England
Nationality English
  • Businesswoman
  • author
Organization Cath Kidston Limited
Known for Floral prints and patterns
Partner(s) Hugh Padgham
Relatives Kirstie Allsopp (cousin)

Catherine Isabel Audrey "Cath" Kidston, MBE, (born 6 November 1958) 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.[1] She is particularly known for her nostalgic floral patterns[1][2] and has also published a number of books.[2]

Family background and early life[edit]

Kidston's grandfather Glen Kidston was a successful racing driver for Bentley in the 1920s,[3] who was married to Nancie, Samantha Cameron's paternal grandmother.[4] Kidston's uncle is the former chairman of Christie's Charles Henry Allsopp, 6th Baron Hindlip and his daughters, television presenters, Kirstie Allsopp[5][6] 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 socialite Nicky Haslam[2] before setting up an interiors business with a friend,[2] then opening her own shop.[2]


Kidston opened her first shop in London's Holland Park in 1993,[1] selling hand-embroidered tea-towels and brightly renovated furniture.[2] She later described it as a "glorified junk shop".[2] By the end of 2013, she had 136 outlets, including a flagship store on Piccadilly next to Fortnum & Mason and four stores in China.[7] 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."[3] In 2010, she sold a majority stake of the company to private equity investors TA Associates,[8] retaining a minority stake and remaining the company's Creative Director.[8]

Prince George of Cambridge wore one of her outfits, which quickly sold out.[9]


Kidston has worked with Milletts to design tents (2005–6),[1] Nokia/ Carphone Warehouse mobile phones (2006),[1] and Roberts radios (2005 onwards).[1] In 2008, she collaborated with Tesco to produce shopping bags made from plastic bottles,[1] which were sold to raise almost £500,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care[1] and saved about six million plastic bottles from landfill.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Kidston's partner is record producer Hugh Padgham,[2] whom she met as his decorator.[2] They have homes beside the Thames in West London,[2] and in Gloucestershire.[2] She has a step-daughter.[2] Her pets, a Sealyham terrier named and a Lakeland terrier named Stanley, Billie, who features in her designs.[10][11] Kidston is dyslexic.[2] Both her parents died of cancer,[2] and she was diagnosed with breast cancer, aged 37.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "About Cath Kidston". Cath Kiston Limited. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o 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. 
  3. ^ a b "Desert Island Discs: Cath Kidston | BBC". BBC. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sam Cam's hidden ties to Kidston", The Sunday Times, London, p. News section, page 10, 4 October 2015 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Garside, Juliette (6 December 2013). "Cath Kidston could fetch up to £250m". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Hall, James (2010-12-05). "Cath Kidston plans Far East push – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Introducing Billie". Cath Kidston. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Remembering Stanley". Cath Kidston. Retrieved 25 January 2016.