Need a $1200 Lanvin dress for your preschooler? How about a $375 Burberry trench coat for your first-grader? Today in class-rage hate-reads, the Times looks at the phenomenon of designer children's wear. Blah blah blah journalistic ass-covering about how this is trend is "growing" goes here, numbers figures numbers figures:
Now, children are the new accessory, as once-snooty brands line up to please conservative-minded millennials while they use tiny garments to strengthen their brand power in regions like Asia. Last year, Burberry sold $91 million in clothing for children — from newborn, including diaper bags covered in Burberry's beige check, to early teens — for an increase of 23 percent over the previous year. Most of Burberry's 12 free-standing children's stores are in Asia and the Middle East.
Seemingly overnight, brands like Oscar de la Renta, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, Milly and Phillip Lim moved into expanded children's areas of stores, like the new one at Bergdorf Goodman.
How expensive is an Oscar de la Renta dress and bloomers set for a 1-year-old? Why, $175. A Little Marc Jacobs silk dress suitable for an 8-year-old — if there are 8-year-olds out there whose parents consider silk suitable, that is — will set you back $319. Gucci's "sleep suits" — footie pajamas — for newborns retail for $195.
And just in case you think that designer goods for kids is just shittily made preposterous rip-off clothes, well, the Times showed stupid-expensive kiddie stuff to rag trade big shot Andrew Rosen and fashion production specialist Cindy Ferrara:
Holding a $375 silk-print girl's dress by Gucci, Andrew Rosen, the respected founder of Theory and a catalyst behind several other brands, said, "This is talking to the 1 percent, or the less than 1 percent, of the population." He added, referring to luxury makers with children's lines: "I would believe that none of these guys are doing it to make money. It's all about being more relevant. You want to keep the customers engaged in your brand." [...]
Neither Ms. Ferrara nor Mr. Rosen was all that impressed with the Gucci dress. Pointing to a side seam, where the print didn't match up, he said, "On their main line, they would have never done something like this." Ms. Ferrara said, "This would have all matched." She noticed places on the inside where seams were puckered, known as roping. "The handling could be better," she said.
The practical lesson here, however, is ultimately that all clothing is marked up several times over cost for retail. "The standard markup," reports Cathy Horyn, "for luxury brands is roughly 7.5 times cost. So if the price of a dress is $375, the cost is $50." And according to one mother quoted in the piece, who used to work in the luxury fashion sector, that's as true of grown-ups' clothing as it is of kids'.