THE HAMBURG EDIT, photography by Alexandra Klever, kids model Ida



(see original article at www.kindamag.net)

Raquette is a modern kids’ brand, founded in Barcelona in 2020 by Jeanette Banholzer and her partner Lluis Rodriguez. We talked to Jenn about all things style, inspiration, and her principles of running a company.

KINDA: Who are the people behind Raquette? 

............ Jenn: »We are Jenn & Lluis, a German-Spanish couple living in Barcelona. I take care of the design and brand strategy while Lluis is busy on the business, administration, and operations side. My cousin’s son Gero is responsible for the graphics. Trained as a landscape architect, he’s been an amazing illustrator since the age of 3.

KINDA: Please tell us a bit about your professional background and what led to the foundation of Raquette

............ Jenn: »Lluis and I both worked at the Adidas Group for more than 10 years, me as a manager in product creation and Lluis on the operational side. Quitting Adidas coincided with the decision to move to Barcelona, which resulted in working for smaller, entrepreneurial companies in the textile industry. Founding Raquette evolved organically. We are complementary in our skills, and we experienced firsthand how things work in this sector. I had played around with the vision and designs for at least two years beforehand.

Unlike many other brands, we did not start our business feeling that a certain product was missing or because we got inspired by our kids … we were very interested in how to run a company properly. It starts with the people in it. How do we treat employees, clients, partners, and suppliers? Can we run the company profitably whilst still being honest, human, and kind?«

KINDA: What does Raquette stand for, and what is your DNA?

............ Jenn: »We stand for a more thoughtful approach to fashion, creating everyday essentials for modern kids. We aim to establish a small and efficient niche brand that allows us to keep up a balanced lifestyle between Barcelona, Costa Brava, and the Black Forest in Germany. Raquette is style, not fashion, which means we are not doing something entirely new every season. We believe that consistency in the offer is as important as newness. We use organic materials, produce less, offer better products, and make sure they are designed to last long.

We keep true to our own style and DNA, which is sporty and casual but chic. Sportswear plays a central role because it is comfortable, stylish, allows freedom of movement, and is simply the most suitable for everyday modern life. Our clothing is practical, transitions well through the day, and can be dressed up and down. Essentially, we want kids to be comfortable in their clothes. If they feel at ease, they will look cool, no matter what.

KINDA: Where do you get your inspiration?

............ Jenn: »Sports and vintage sportswear from the 80s and 90s are the starting base when selecting the styles. I also love to dig into Japanese workwear. A lot of inspiration comes from my past as a tennis player: The stuff we wore, and life at the tennis club in general. Inspiration also comes from what is around me: creative friends, sharp-dressed moms picking up their kids from school, or skaters. Their style has always appealed to me and it filters into all of my collections. These guys look so simple and relaxed, yet put together too. I love to observe people in their everyday life, the repletion of outfits, and the details in styling.

For colours, I mostly look at nature or other countries. Books and the written word are also important to me. That’s where I often find the general mood for a collection. Recently, I have started to read poetry. Listening to this podcast on Monocle radio where they discuss some contemporary pieces, it was the first time that poetry meant something to me, and it became the theme for AW22.«

KINDA: Do you design for boys and girls separately or are your collections unisex?

............ Jenn: »My starting point is always boys. I like menswear better than womenswear because it is often simpler in pattern, finer in detail, and more valuable in terms of material. Being a tomboy, I believe that everything for boys looks great on girls too. It is all about the styling that makes the difference. Pretty much all of the collection and colours are unisex but I do a few girls’ silhouettes too, like dresses and skirts.

KINDA: You are a German-Spanish team. To what extent is that reflected in your fashion?

............ Jenn: »Well, to be honest, the Spanish part of us does not design. I sometimes ask Lluis for material or colour opinions, but in general, design is down to me and that is ok. I am not sure how much German is left in me after living in Spain for 12 years! My love for function and practicality in kids’ clothing might be the German side, but then the clothes I design resemble the way I always dressed and thought to be cool since I’ve had an opinion on fashion.

Barcelona with its skate and beach culture gives the collection some street feel, edginess, and colour. The importance of valuing premium materials that are durable and stand washes comes from my mom. She is obsessed with good materials, as she has been working in premium textile all her life. I think the aesthetic of the collection evolves very organically. I rarely look at trend forecasts or other brands and the last thing coming to my mind would be to pick up any classic fashion magazine (I might have bought a max of two Vogues in my life but I’m obsessed with racquet magazine and all those cool fanzines I discovered in Japan and China where I never understood a word, but the pictures never ceased to amaze me :)!

The best thing about the German-Spanish part is that I am going back and forth between the two countries allowing me to understand the needs of different climates and cultures.

KINDA: What is your take on sustainability?

............ Jenn: »As brands, we should all have the ambition to do our best and be more honest and transparent. The consumer should understand that sustainability does not start and end with a material that says »organic «, and not every brand calling itself organic is necessarily the most sustainable. Our business can only survive if we sell clothes, but we must act towards more sustainability by using eco materials, slowing down our operations, using road transportation instead of air, and designing products more efficiently and consciously. For us, sustainability is more than just materials: it is about respect for people, for our environment, and about living a bit more slowly and more thoughtful.”

What we commit to at raquette:

  • Offering no more than 60-70 articles total per season

  • Bringing newness in doses and staying consistent with shapes, materials, and colours. (Be wary of brands claiming they are sustainable but offer 300 new articles every season)

  • Valuing premium, durable material to maximize the time of wear

  • Creating practical, multi-use, and long-term use clothes. This embraces sticking to more timeless and classic designs, limiting the colour palette, taking out the frills, and focussing on the essential

  • Staying close with the factories and partners

  • Allowing our team complete working flexibility, and maintaining relationships built on trust

  • Donating 1p for the planet, we decided to participate in this project on day one

  • Thinking low-waste in terms of office space, sampling, trade fair set up, etc.«

KINDA: What is your wish for the brand for the next 5 years?

............ Jenn: »Establishing raquette as a niche brand with a unique sportswear-based DNA. Optimizing the company to keep it small but efficient. Guaranteeing best operations as this will allow us to work on other projects, too … and maybe play a bit more tennis again :). We hope to create a wider palette of products reflecting this lifestyle and we are planning some exciting collaborations with brands that share our values.

We are interested in any project encouraging kids to move and take up a sport. Regarding kids’ health situation worldwide, exercise and nutrition should be rated equally high as maths and languages! In the end, we just want to enjoy the journey with raquette, and we strive for our clients to feel the same.



Photography/ Interview @alexandraklever, @kinda_magazine

Styling @ulrikekache, Hair/Makeup @therealcoco.ax

Model @ida.kidsmodel via @agenturlichtkind

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