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What the little emperor wants, the little emperor gets

What the little emperor wants, the little emperor gets

9 January 2017

Although  a  risky  business  for  luxury  brands  in  the  past,  children’s  apparel has surpassed its previous front-runners - menswear and womenswear - for the top spot.

Used  to  describe  Chinese  households  who  spend  heavily  on  their  children, ‘ Little Emperor  syndrome’ is  incredibly  relative  to  todays  spending  habits.  Parents are actively  spending  more  and  more  on  garments  for  their little  darlings.There  are  a number  of  reasons  for  this  sudden  change  in  spending  habits,  what  with  online stores and shopping apps for your smartphone, things are far more accessible to the consumer.  Not  only  are  the  kids  of  today  tech  savvy,  but  also  inherit  a  heightened awareness of fashion and trends, shaping parental buying decisions.  

Popular  social  media  apps,  such  as  Instagram  also  weigh  a  heavy  influence  in millennial  children. With  children  joining  social  media  at  an  earlier  ageand  parents creating  Instagram  accounts  for  their  kiddiewinks,  the  trend  in  children’    s  apparel  is quickly expanding. Kids today, more than ever before, are exposed to the media from early age; they demand a say in their styling, as well as may desire to dress like their favourite celebrity. Today, children are more interested in dressing like their favourite stars  and  new-age  childrenswear  reflects  this.  High-profile  kids  in  covetable  trends are prominently splurged on the covers of magazines and increasing engagement for target  markets. Burberry  in  particular  saw  a  surge  in  engagement  when it  posted  a campaign image including a youngBeckham. Amazon UK also saw a roaring uptake in sales when toddler Prince George was spotted wearing blue Crocs’.

No  stranger  to  children’s  apparel,  Dior  released  its  first  kids  line  in  1967  and  was unaccompanied in the market as childrenswear, at the time, was solely distributed by licensed  kids  brands  like  Disney.  Now,  with  changing  consumer  behaviours,  luxury brands are following suit and releasing their own versions of childrenswear.  Burberry played  into  the ‘    mini-me’      desire  and  released  children’s  versions  of  its trench  coats, checked  scarves  and  lace  dresses  from  its  main  collections.  Diversifying  their portfolio from  simply  licensed apparel to a  direct operation, Burberry  generated  £91 million at the close of 2015. High-end brands Tom Ford and Balmain also sought the opportunity  to  create  expand  into  kidswear  and  designed  garments  for  the  more ‘brand-conscious’ generation.  

Successfully  launching  its  childrenswear  sector  in  early  2016,  popular  e-commerce site  Farfetch  has  since  seen  growing  numbers  in  kids  apparel  as ‘add-on’ items. Candice  Fragis,  Buying  &  Merchandising  Director,  Farfetch says, “We’ve  seen  that kidswear has been an add-on to a lot of the purchasing that’s done by both men and women”.  She  continues, “What  we  see  trending  is  less  about  practicality  and  more about  replicas  of  what  is being  sold for  adults — the  little  Moncler  jackets, the  D&G swimsuits.” Much  like  the socks  market,  more  and  more  parents  are  purchasing children’s  clothes  in  addition  to  their  own  purchases.  As  a  result,  brands  are  now producing  mini  versions  of  adult-wear,  allowing  parents  to  dress  their  kids  like  mini versions  of  themselves; in  the  hopes  of  gaging  interest  from  a  younger  age  and creating long-lasting relationships.  

The  new  and  keen  interest  in  children’ s  apparel  is  an  opportune  moment  for menswear  and  womenswear  brands  to  diversify  their  portfolios  and  make  the transition into children apparel.  Join the ‘mini-me’  cult. 

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