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Luxury labels for little people are anything but child’s play

Luxury brands should remind themselves of life before catwalks, writes Jill Geoghegan.

A well-chosen accessory ensured that all eyes were firmly fixed on Jenifer Lopez as she graced Chanel’s ‘Frow’ during Paris Fashion week- and it wasn’t a 2.55 quilted classic. Primped, preened and posing like a pro at her six-inch heels was the singer’s four-year-old daughter Emmy, adorned with £1,400-worth of bejewelled trinkets from the luxury fashion house.

While there’s no denying that the diva-in-the-making looked cute as a cupcake in her sugary pink ensemble, when it comes to labels for little people we need to ask when does adorable become deplorable?

Emmy is just the latest in a long line of tinsel-town tots decked out in the crème de la crème of the luxury fashion market. Harper Beckham, Kingston Rossdale and Honor Warren have all been propelled into the limelight as poster babies for high end fashion, not to mention the Anna Wintour of the playground, Suri Cruise, whose wardrobe is worth an estimated £2 million. Undoubtedly, a tad excessive for a six year old, even if she is Maverick’s offspring.

This trend of pint-sized couture is not confined to the Hollywood elite; it appears that more and more of us are buying into the idea of premium labels for our little darlings. Last week John Lewis reported a 77% rise in kidswear sales compared to this time last year and the global market for children’s clothing is estimated to reach a staggering £97 billion by 2015. What’s more, the fastest growing segment in the industry is the luxury market, with Versace, Oscar de la Renta and Marni all jumping on the baby bandwagon in the last year alone.

More often than not designer spin-offs for sprogs are just scaled down versions of the label’s adult lines and are far from being age appropriate, not to mention practical. Tree climbing in pearl-encrusted tulle tunics? I don’t think so.

Childrenswear veterans Ralph Lauren and the award-winning Rachel Riley succeed in striking the balance between luxury and child-friendly fashion and could certainly school some of the newcomers on how to deliver on both the style and practicality fronts. High end labels are renowned for knowing their clientele and giving their elite customer base the very best that money can buy, and this tailor-made attention to detail should also extend to their smallest shoppers.

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