The designers’ debut childrenswear
collection targets boys and girls from newborn up to age 10 and includes a wide
range of products across many apparel categories, including outerwear,
footwear, sportswear, swimwear and accessories.
According to the
fashion house, despite its younger target market, the range is as high quality
as any of the garments it markets to adult consumers, making it a miniature
version of the designers’ signature line. The first collection, for the autumn/winter 2012 season, is on sale globally through children’s boutiques and department stores.
Designer childrenswear sees growth the world
While Dolce &
Gabbana, which ditched its lower priced D&G
diffusion line in summer 2012 because of consumers’ confusion between the
spin-off brand and the parent brand itself, stated that in terms of timing the launch is simply a natural evolution
of the brand, opportunity for designer childrenswear has never been higher and as
a result, a host of new players are entering the market.
parents are more likely to cut down on spending on their own clothes before
they cut down on spending on clothes for their children, childrenswear
weathered the global downturn better than many other clothing categories. And
now, as the global economy begins to show signs of stability, high-income families are beginning to feel more comfortable about
spending again. As a result a growing number of parents are splashing out on
designer childrenswear, which results in a healthy growth of 7.4% on a global
level in 2012.
Opportunity brings more players to the category
Up until relatively
recently the luxury-goods business tended to regard
itself as an adults-only world and as recently as five years ago the high-end
childrenswear business was dominated by only a handful of major designers, with
Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Christian Dior the most well known and successful. However, a
number of designers have noticed the category’s potential and with its
childrenswear range Dolce & Gabbana follows in the footsteps of many fellow
luxury labels including Gucci, Marni, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Diane von
Furstenberg, who have all launched childrenswear lines in recent years. In late 2011 Gucci, which launched its
children’s collection in 2010, opened its first children’s store in New York.
Appeal for designers is
more than just money
designer wear is seeing high value sales in many countries the world over, the reality is that children’s luxury fashion is still a niche market
compared to the US$147 billion global children’s apparel industry. With premium prices – Dolce
& Gabbana’s plaid shirts for boys retail at around US$150 and girl’s
dresses at around US$500 – designer childrenswear lines are targeted at an
extremely small section of society, with the vast majority of consumers ruled
out in terms of affordability.
While there is
certainly money to be made, designer labels are being attracted to childrenswear
for more than simply the financial gains on offer. Moving into childrenswear
allows designer brands to expand their offering without the likelihood of
confusing consumers – while few if any consumers are likely to mix up a
childrenswear line with an adult line, spin-off designer brands such as the now
defunct D&G line can impact on the perception of the parent brand with
consumers in emerging markets in particular unclear over the distinctions
between each. In short, childrenswear allows for expansion without the worry of
diluting the original brand.