Following the arrival of Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex’s first baby yesterday, childrenswear brands are anticipating a rush in sales.
Babywear sales are already forecast to rise 0.9% year on year to £1.5bn in 2019 by GlobalData, and the new royal’s arrival should lend an added boost to sales, predicted Daniel Price, co-founder of personalised childrenswear etailer My 1st Years.
“Whenever the royal children are spotted wearing a particular item, that specific piece, and those that are similar, sell out almost instantly.
“Last year, sales were 30 times higher the week Prince Louis was born [in April], so we expect something similar this year.”
Customers are a lot more generous with their own kids after a royal birth, as they’re inspired by the happy news to shop
Linda Gill, Finest For Baby
Linda Gill, director at kidswear agency Finest For Baby, agreed: “We are definitely expecting a rush in sales as everyone awaits the unveiling of the baby and to see what it is wearing.
“If they haven’t already got it, consumers will buy whatever items he is wearing for their own little ones. We’ve found in the past that customers are a lot more generous with their own kids after a royal birth, as they’re inspired by the happy news to shop.”
Although it remains to be seen exactly how the couple will dress their son, industry insiders are hoping for a more casual approach than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have selected for their three children.
“In the past the royal family have dressed their children like mini grown-ups, wearing only smart, traditional dress,” said Jo Tutchener-Sharp, owner of childrenswear brand Scamp & Dude.
“I’m hoping that, as Meghan and Harry are a more modern royal couple, they’ll choose to dress their children in more up-to-date styles that bring some colour and fun to their son’s wardrobe.”
We might expect Meghan and Harry to take a less formal approach in how they dress their new son
Kathryn Shuttleworth, Grass & Air
Kathryn Shuttleworth, managing director of children’s outerwear brand Grass & Air, agreed: “We might expect Meghan and Harry to take a less formal approach in how they dress their new son, which is great news for non-conventional brands.
“My prediction is that Meghan will kickstart a trend for minimal, non-traditional styles and colours, such as monochromes and muted earthy shades, as opposed to the preppy pastel styles we’ve seen on Prince George and Princess Charlotte.”
Designer Rachel Riley, who counts the Duchess of Cambridge as a client, echoed this: “The Duchess of Sussex has a very different style to the Duchess of Cambridge and we don’t expect her to dress her baby in the same traditional way.
“This is partly because Meghan is from California and used to a more relaxed style, but also she does not need to adhere to the same strict protocols as Catherine does.”
Another trend Markle is expected to pass on to her son is her preference for sustainable fashion, having sported clothing from brands including Hiut Denim, Maggie Marilyn and Stella McCartney.
Pepa Gonzàlez, founder of London-based Pepa & Co, whose clothes have been worn by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, said: “Organic cotton and sustainable production is of huge importance to the Duchess of Sussex, and we expect this to be a huge growth area in our clothing.”
Inger Breitenstein, owner of children’s clothing and footwear agency Breitenstein Agencies, agreed: “Meghan has proved to have quite a sustainable attitude when it comes to fashion, which I think will come through in her son’s style.”
From sustainable fashion to a more modern, laid-back look, UK kidswear retailers and brands will be hoping the royal family’s latest addition will bring a welcome boost to consumer sentiment and sales over the coming weeks.