Take baby North West. The two-year-old daughter of Kanye and Kim Kardashian, she is as likely as her mother to be seen sporting a Saint Laurent cross-body bag or Chanel cashmere cardigan. “It’s never too early to care about fashion,” quipped designer Karl Lagerfeld in a quote accompanying North’s first solo fashion shoot – at 13 months, modelling a Chanel brooch and signature quilted bag – for French style icon Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book
Cross the pond to the UK and you have family Beckham, a walking billboard for fashion brands the world over, be they Bonpoint or Burberry. With 13-year-old Romeo taking a turn as the face of the latter and 16-year-old Brooklyn having appeared in a fashion spread for
T: The New York Times Style Magazine
(alongside fellow teen and British noble Lady Jean Campbell), what the Beckham children sport these days is of as much interest to the fashion world as what their parents are wearing.
And it doesn’t stop there. Whether it’s the royal babies Cambridge or Gwen Stefani’s ultra-hip kids, Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Blue Ivy or Kate Moss’s rock-chick-emulating daughter Lila Grace, birthday parties and school runs are becoming the new street-style hot spots.
As quickly as these new mini style icons have emerged, brands have moved to capitalise on our rising interest in children’s fashion. Take Chloé, for example. As much as the French fashion house is a go-to for women wanting a slice of understated, feminine chic in their wardrobe, it also serves the same purpose for their children. Its scallop-edged ballet flats come in children’s sizes, as do the signature aviator sunglasses and a host of trapeze-style dresses. Similarly, at Stella McCartney Kids one finds a younger range that reflects the print-heavy, quirky-yet-chic sensibility of the parent brand.
French luxury childrenswear brand Bonpoint puts on seasonal catwalk shows, all the better to display its heavily trend-led collections. Its spring/summer 2016 show, marking the brand’s 40th anniversary, was held in Paris’s Jardin du Luxembourg and featured celebrities on the catwalk and in the audience. Charlotte Olympia, the shoe brand of choice for women wanting to make a statement, has launched its famous Kitty flats for youngsters as a part of children’s line Incy. They have been seen out on both North West and Blue Ivy.
Should you be more a fan of the heritage vibe, and less about the latest trends, parents these days only have to seek out Burberry or Ralph Lauren for a smarter look. The latter (one of the first brands to move into this space) produces its cable-knit sweaters and logo’d button-down shirts for children to match their parents. Similarly, Burberry does its signature trenches and checked motifs for children, too. Witness a three-year-old Harper Beckham in the front row of the brand’s Los Angeles event sporting a sleeveless trench dress.
For those who are fans of the preppy look or something more fashion-forward, of Parisian chic or statement accessories, these days you can find the style icon and the fashion to suit your child as well. Welcome to the world of mini-me fashion.
Words by Gemma Soames
Beckham, Moss, Kardashian and the royal Cambridges. Mention these names to the fashion crowd and you’ll quickly have them ruminating over their style icon of choice. What you might not realise, however, is that you could just as easily be talking about a bunch of children. For these days, the progeny of the photographed and famous are as influential as style icons for a new generation of fashion-savvy kids as their parents were before them – and both celebrities and brands are getting in on the act.