Kids’ fashion market is taking the world by storm. These days, kidswear is a big thing. The market is expanding all the time, and has grabbed the attention of designers, companies and parents alike.
From Bollywood to Hollywood, celebrity kids are seen to be making unique style statements. Barely four, Harper Seven Beckham, the daughter of David and Victoria Beckham, is known as the world’s cutest fashionista kid. The case is similar with Suri Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise. From outfits to boots to handbags, these celebrity kids are famous for their fashion talent.
As the market for kids fashion is growing, kidswear brands are now minting money. Rajat Kapoor, managing director, Kay Kay Clothing, the master franchisee for Poney in India says, “Evolution of kids fashion in India has been much steeper than that of adult fashion. From a handful of brands to a sudden explosion of home grown and international brand in the market is proof of the increasing demand. With advent of internet and mobile devices, people have access to latest trends in fashion at their figure tips. Nowadays, consumers want to dress their kids nothing short of a celebrity.”
In the same vein, designer Shivani Gandhi from Tota says, “The kidswear industry has been largely unorganized so far, but with greater awareness both on the part of the children as well as the parents; there has been a huge surge in demand in the last few years. There is an element of aspiration element to it as well. Children want to look like, and imitate their role models, and dressing up is the easiest and quickest way to do it!”
Talking about the peer pressure and competition among the kids, Neel Sawhney, CEO, One Friday, says, “Kidswear refers to a wide range of apparels for children between the age group of 1 and 14 years of age. With the influence of mass media and peer pressure along with other conducive factors that come in to play like high disposable income of the parents, increasing influence of foreign culture and brand consciousness among children, this once ignored young consumer base has become more informed and self-conscious. In fact, as per ASSOCHAM, the market for kids wear is the fastest growing when it comes to ready-to-wear apparel and is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%.”
Not only this, there is emergence of kids fashion week in the town. It is one of the flourishing industries where kidswear brands get the chance to showcase their designs and latest outfits.
“The kidswear industry has been largely unorganized so far, but with greater awareness both on the part of the children as well as the parents, there has been a huge surge in demand in the last few years. There is an element of aspiration to it as well.”
Recently, Delhi has its India Kids Fashion Week which was jointly organized by CraftWorld and Event Capital. Deepak Choudhary, founder and director, Event Capital says, “India has many established designers and brands that are now getting into kidswear. In terms of national brands there are Biba, OKS BOYS, One Friday, Nauti Nati, 612 League, Moriko Organic, Kilkari. There are many upcoming designers and brands too- My Little Piggy, Little Couture, Tota to name a few. The advent of e-commerce fashion sites has made it easier for parents to order anytime and anywhere. It becomes easier to filter and shop online. Weekends are mostly spent in malls where kids get acquainted with brands and latest fashion available.”
He also adds, “This space has greatly evolved with the foray of international players such as The Children’s Place, GAP Kids and Poney. Max has successfully established itself in India. Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, UCB are other players in the market. The luxury segment too has renewed focus on kids- Burberry Kids, Fendi, Armani Junior etc. are specially catering to the little ones.”
Designer Sonia Chawla of Little Couture, says, “Fashion industry for kids is growing and they are very conscious of what they wear. Nowadays they have their own colour and cut preference. They are very clear in their mind in terms of what designs/outfits they are going to wear and what look will suit them.”
But designing kids wear is not an easy task. The biggest challenge is size and yet making it stylish and comfortable. Designer Kamakshi Kaul, VP designs, says, “It should be easy to wear, comfortable and allows the kids to play free and even rough. Each garment should have a unique feature like fun trim, shiny embellishments, colorful prints and new silhouettes are recent trends. And colours suitable for Indian skin and weather conditions should be kept in mind.”
In the same regard, Gandhi says, “We design for 0-4 year-olds and the biggest challenge is that children outgrow their clothes so quickly. Also, one thing that most people do not realize is that stitching children’s clothes is more complex than stitching for adults. One has to keep in mind that the internal seams are well finished, the embroidery is non-abrasive, the materials are breathable and non-allergenic and the dyes used are non-toxic. Since any of these could potentially harm a child’s sensitive skin. The clothes should allow for free and easy movement, so that children can run and play without any hindrances.”
Today’s kids are one of the promising customers across the world and with the growing demand, not only the designers’ market are prospering but also international and national brands are becoming the giant markets for kids wear.