Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kids’ fashion comes of age

Toddling in a green-hued Sonali Mansingka dress, four-year-old Samaira Sethi looks like a million bucks. In between stylishly striding the ramp for designers and preparing backstage (at the India Kids Fashion Week in Mumbai yesterday), she wraps her shapely, cuddly little arms around her mother Geetika Sethi and receives a warm, admiring hug. Mom says Samaira, for all her age, already has a fast-developing sense of fashion.
Samaira belongs to the digital-age tykes who know their fashion and love it too. Some 150 of them converged on the three-day event, organised by Craftworld, just to sashay down the ramp, in honour of Indian designerssuch as Rocky S, Malini Ramani, Nishka Lulla, Nandita Basu, Gaurav and Ritika. Backing them were brands like Mineral, Kidology, Coochhie Coo, Beebay, all out to woo top-end retail buyers (who in turn are confident there are Indian parents willing to spend up to Rs25, 000 on a designer dress for their darling daughter / super-son).
Neha Sachar Mittal, joint managing director, Kidology, a high-end occasion-wear brand for kids, says a new market segment, comprising increasingly discerning, well-travelled and high-incomeconsumers, has formed in India. Soon after Kidology set up shop in Delhi two years ago, kids’ fashion wear priced in the Rs 3,500-12, 000 range started selling fast. Kidology now works directly with designers. It has also expanded to Mumbai and at least three new stores in other cities are planned.
“Well-heeled Indian parents are willing to spend, as long as the product is exclusive and of good quality. We could even go higher on pricing as consumers demandhigh-end kids’ fashion wear,” says Mittal.
Such consumers descended on the Mumbai fashion parade in hundreds, touching-feeling the mind-boggling range of kids’ fashion, from the glitzy and the classy to the punky and the funky.
Well-developed fashion-quotient of their kids, they say, is something they take pride in. As brands fill up the kids’ wardrobes, retailers are salivating over a potential 35% year-on-year growth.
Such high growth appears inevitable as kids’ apparel grows up from images of super-heroes and cartoon characters to concepts such as occasion-wear and party-wear. Why, even designers are now keen to partner with brands that can manage production and marketing while they themselves focus on the final product.
New brands, mostly individual start-ups, are set to enter the kids’ retail market, says Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer, Retailers Association of India.. “In three years, we might have as many as 20 new brands. The toddler segment is still untapped and offers a huge opportunity.”
Plans are afoot to bring designers and large retail firms together, in a bid to make kids’ fashion affordable. Economies of scale could spell huge growth in a huge market like India, says Mumbai-resident Anil Patel, proud of his status as the father of 12-year-old Yash who walked the ramp for Narendra Kumar. Today’s kids, he says, demand ‘funky’ and ‘expensive’ apparel and footwear. His wife (and Yash’s mom) Hetal says finding that perfect pair of clothes for her son is no easy task. “It is difficult to find an appealing collection at stores, especially for boys this young.”
To make life easier for Hetal and other such moms of fashion-conscious kids, Manan Apparel has decided to re-orient its kids-wear business from exports to the domestic market through its own brand Oh My Gosh. “Today, a father can walk into a kids’ apparel store and buy a ` 1,200 shirt for his daughter. I’m certain we will have enough takers,” says Sanjay Gogia, Manan’s director.
Like Manan, long-time exporter Akriti Apparels has launched its own brand Beebay through exclusive outlets and an online store. Its director, Avanish Jain, says, “The kids’ retailing market in India is becoming lucrative as consumers are willing to pay more for branded products for their children.”Agrees designer Sagarika Mittal Goyal who haslaunched Coochhie Coo, a luxury kids’ fashion brand. “The growth opportunity is enormous. Consumers are particularly willing to spend on fashionable party-wear.”
Estimates suggest that kids-gear will likely snowball into a Rs85,000 crore market by 2014. And 80% of it will be apparel, followed by footwear (10%), toys (4%), accessories and merchandise (6%). That is not all. The infant segment (0-3 years) is untapped, according to analysts. They are convinced Indian babies in designer wear will look like a billion bucks.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. We all know that trends of kids clothing has been changing in every season and also clothes for kids are going very expensive now days, so parents are bit worried about their kids clothes. They always searching for best clothes and low prices.

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