Gone are the days when style and sophistication were reserved for adults alone, and no longer are black tie events and red carpet premieres the only call for prestige. A new generation of youngsters are splurging more than ever on designer threads, with parents increasingly willing to open their wallets in a bid to maintain their children’s carefully polished images.
Suffice it to say that the luxury kidswear market is booming, and from Prada to Gucci, nothing is too good for youngsters ranging from toddlers all the way up to teens. Even babies are getting in on the action, with sales of designer babygros and trainers at an all-time high, and a new ethos seemingly geared towards teaching children how to dress their best from a young age.
Revenue in the children’s apparel segment amounts to US$258,967m in 2021 so far, with the market expected to grow annually by 5.64% (CAGR 2021-2026). As our spending on luxury kidswear labels surges by the day, high-end fashion houses and couture labels across the globe are clamouring for the chance to dress the most influential celebrity children in a bid to come out on top.
Unsurprisingly, this had led to a new generation of mini-influencers, with a growing number of high-net-worth parents creating Instagram accounts to showcase their offspring’s sartorial style – setting them off on a lucrative career path rather than a trust fund, that in the future, could make them millions.
The brands behind the boom
For a generation who typically love to run around and play, practicality will always remain at the heart of luxury children’s clothing, but the biggest-selling designer kids’ clothes come from the fashion houses who know how to tick all the right boxes. And now, there are more brands available to choose from than ever, with some multi-brand sites reporting a quadrupling in the variety they were able to offer over the past two years alone.
Luxury brands like Dolce and Gabbana and Oscar de La Renta have long placed an equal importance on the design of childrenswear when compared to apparel meant for adults, but now, we’re seeing the likes of Burberry, Givenchy and Stella McCartney join the party. High-end brand Kenzo, too, has been making waves in recent years with its highly sought-after Kenzo Kids collection, which has been snapped up by numerous celebrity and high-net-worth parents alike and continues to enjoy a growing share of the market.
It’s the entry of big-name brands such as these onto the scene that have boosted the street cred of luxury children’s fashion, and what was once seen as an extravagance is now seen as the norm amongst the wealthy.
A lucrative future for all
Thanks to Instagram, it’s now easier than ever for children as young as toddlers to follow trends – with the help of their parents, of course. We’re seeing high-end, luxury brands combined with street and sportswear to create laid-back looks that exude off-duty style, which for children, works for the everyday.
North West – daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West – has become one of the most influential child influencers, regularly appearing on both parents’ feeds – and such has become her level of clout in the luxury kids’ fashion world that the couple even launched their own children’s fashion label back in 2017.
Increasingly, parents are dressing their children well not just to help them cultivate a respectable image, but also because it is good business sense to do so. For celebrity children, we’re seeing eye-watering fees being charged for sponsored posts, with mothers and fathers raking in the cash for their children’s futures and storing it away for them as a result.
A money-making machine
With millennials known to be one of the biggest-spending generations yet, we can expect to see the luxury children’s clothing market continue to boom over the coming years, with more than 40 percent of Gen-Y-ers now parents and holding an eye-watering global spending power in excess of $1.3 trillion.
And with the next generation set to enjoy an even greater level of disposable income, it’s a trend that is only likely to grow.
One thing is for certain; wealthy and influential children are being given a springboard to a luxury lifestyle through online sponsorship deals, and designer brands are raking in the revenue as a result. On both sides, it seems it’s a win-win, with everyone standing to profit.