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New kids on the block: children's brands and trends to know

Drapers reveals the new, interesting and noteworthy names in the kidswear market, and speaks to buyers to find out the new trends and brands they see in the sector.

The buyers’ view

Clare Sprigings, childrenswear and toys buyer, Selfridges

Clare springings selfridges

Clare Sprigings

What trends can you see in kidswear at the moment?

Designer “mini-me” fashion has elevated childrenswear to new levels in recent years and is ever increasing in popularity. In line with the positive response to the fashion direction of our collections, we have increased our designer mini-me offer in childrenswear by 50% over the past four years. We are particularly excited to stock Balenciaga’s first childrenswear collection for spring 18.

What are some of your recent finds in terms of brands? Any new standout additions?

We have child-friendly lookalike styles and pieces inspired by adult mainline collections this season from new brands to our childrenswear offering: Zimmermann, Balenciaga, Balmain and Neil Barrett.

What do you look for in the brands you stock?

Sustainability is extremely important to us at Selfridges. We strive to inform our customers on environmental issues and encourage positive purchasing decisions. Our new brand Liewood creates ethically produced organic pieces that are not only better for people and the planet, but also beautifully simplistic with their Nordic design element.

Michele Harriman-Smith, CEO, Childrensalon

Michele harriman smith

Michele Harriman Smith

We stock various high-end luxury designers, premium and entry-point priced brands. And I love all of them in their own way. The most important element in all our brands is that the clothes look absolutely beautiful. The quality and feel is also very important. Our customers trust us and they know that we will always offer the best brands.

For us, Kenzo, Armani, Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana are always good sellers, alongside more entry price-point brands such as Patachou, Billieblush and IKKS. Additionally, we constantly invest in new up-and-coming brands our buying team comes across at trade shows, such as all the beautiful brands scouted globally over the years. In terms of newcomers, we are very pleased with the performance of Givenchy, and Balenciaga’s debut childrenswear collection will be new for spring 18.

The global influence of celebrities fuelled by the rise of social media has had a massive impact on the childrenswear market. The biggest trend we have witnessed is the rise of the “mini-me” dressing phenomenon, coupled with the fact high end fashion houses are launching their childrenswear lines replicating what we’ve seen on the catwalks in New York, London, Milan and Paris. This translates in a massive increase of luxurious childrenswear collections on the market such as Balenciaga, Gucci, Chloé, Fendi and Givenchy, to name a few.

Our excellent buying team travel to trade shows worldwide to select the very best products and brands for our customers season after season. We’re looking forward to seeing what this buying season will bring.

Marc Granditer, director, Base childrenswear

Marc g base

Marc Granditer

What are some of your recent finds in terms of brands? Any new standout additions?

Money has been relaunched, which may be interesting, and we are looking at some exclusive collaborations later this year. Watch this space!

Which brands are doing well for you at the moment?

Stone Island and Moncler are consistently performing very well. Kenzo and Tommy Hilfiger are also showing excellent growth.

What trends can you see at the moment?

There’s a clear streetwear trend, and people aren’t afraid of big logos. Look at menswear and you’re likely to see it in kidswear six months later.

What do you look for in the brands you stock?

Does it fit the Base DNA? We look for urban styles with an influence of teen culture, music and sport. Is it what customers expect? If it ticks these boxes, we’ll consider investing in it.

Jess King, founder of The Mini Edit and former Selfridges childrenswear buyer

Jessking (1)[1]

Jess King

I launched the Mini Edit in 2015. The concept came from frustration about the pace of change in the kidswear market. I wanted to concentrate on new brands that had a contemporary focus on product, that weren’t heavily branded or cutesy and that didn’t stick to just baby blue for boys and pink for girls.

Trends happening in the adult markets are translating much more easily into kidswear, which is why we’ve had success with sportswear-inspired sweatshirts with a relaxed and casual feel.

Unisex kidswear is a massive trend – again tying into the sports influence trends in adult clothing. I’m finding that, although parents are looking for good price points, they are happy to spend a bit more on a product that really stands out and has something to say. It can’t just be a plain white T-shirt with a higher price tag, because brands are up against the high street’s kidswear proposition and the supermarkets. In the early days of my career in kidswear, it was all about heavily branded product and the big designers. Now we’re seeing more cool Scandi brands popping up and doing some great wearable product for kids.

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