“People want to dress up their children to keep them fresh. Social media is making it easier to show pictures of your children, and parents and fashion labels are taking this demographic more seriously,” says David Park, an illustrator at Complex magazine, who launched a graphic alphabet book titled ‘ABC’s for the Little G’s’ earlier this year. Dedicated to ‘all the sneakerhead parents in the world’, Park’s book teaches toddlers their ABC’s via sneaker graphics: A is for Airmax, G is for Gucci, Y is for Yeezy…
The book emphasises a shift in perception: childrenswear is now cool. The market is currently worth $1.4 billion, according to Euromonitor, and the value of childrenswear in the US is estimated to grow 8 percent by 2021, to $34 million. Luxury brands from Oscar de la Renta to Dolce & Gabbana have long produced childrenswear, but the category is booming with launches from labels like Givenchy, Yeezy and Balenciaga, giving it an extra level of street cred.
“Streetwear-inspired pieces are scaled down for children aged 0-12,” says Philippe Fortunato, chief executive officer of Givenchy, which is developing kidswear as a fully-fledged category that will retail in over 150 stores worldwide. The brand hopes to harness the interest of its millennial consumers to buy into the line for their children. According to Fortunato, Givenchy has a relatively even split between sales of its men’s and women’s collections. “Developing a children’s line was only a matter of time,” he says.
Kidswear is not a new concept; Dolce & Gabbana has offered childrenswear since 2012. But today’s kids wear sneakers, caps and hoodies, fuelled by the rise of streetwear brands. Instagram has also played a huge role in its development: toddlers are essentially following trends and the style aesthetic of adults by mixing high end designers like Gucci with street and sportswear labels. North West, for example, teamed her custom Vetements sequin dress with a pair of Vans Old Skool kicks. The appetite for sharing such content on social media is enormous: stylish kids are the ultimate statement accessory.