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STRUT YOUR LITTLE STUFF

We all know that shopping with the little ones can be tedious, but here’s a new way to enjoy designer kids’ fashion on the world stage without the complaining.


WORDS Elisa Arsenis

Children’s designer fashion is taking off in a private jet and landing on runways across the world. Long gone are the days when designer couture was exclusively for adults; today many international high end designers are embracing all ages with luxurious children’s ranges taking to the shelves. Burberry and Fendi love kids, Dior and Gucci have exclusive children’s boutiques, and then there’s Armani, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Galliano, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Cavalli, Stella McCartney, Vera Wang, and Ralph Lauren, all of which have fashion forward collections for tots to tweens. Kids love these five-star looks too, with the likes of Suri Cruise, Harper Beckham, the Jolie-Pitts, and Honor Warren becoming little fashionistas and style icons for those under-age. With all this designer couture for kids taking the fashion industry by storm, how are we to make sure our ‘minime’s are only wearing cutting edge designs? How about fashion weeks that are now being dedicated purely to kids, just like those we have come to love in New York, Paris and Milan. From East to West, designers all over the world are partaking in a fashion revolution, with 2013 marking the fourth year of petitePARADE in New York, and the first ever Global Kids Fashion Week in London.

NEW YORK
Perhaps the world’s largest children’s fashion extravaganza is petitePARADE, New York’s premier kids’ fashion week, dedicated to celebrating and showcasing designer childrensware. This huge event occurs twice a year in March and October, showcasing exquisite childrensware collections from new season trends. Beginning in 2010, petitePARADE was the first kids fashion week to launch on the world stage and is super-exclusive, catering only for the A-list, with an invitation-only audience of celebrity tots, mini-fashion connoisseurs, trade buyers, industry designers and media.

petitePARADE recently held its fourth season in March 2013 in New York in collaboration with VOGUE Bambini, the reference Conde’ Nast magazine for children’s fashion worldwide. The two day event embodied glamour and sophistication at its finest, featuring the spring and fall 2013 collections of designers Bonnie Young, Andy & Evan, Beatrix New York, Cupcakes & Pastries, Isabel et Toi, Kissy Kissy, Pimalinda, Reina Mora, Snopea, SUOAK, Umi, Zutano, Zuzii and Roberto Cavalli. Top-tier media mingled with influential mummy-bloggers, editors, buyers, and their little ones to preview the newest collections while nine-year-old DJ Fulano spun the hottest tracks.

Main image: It was party time at Global
Kids' Fashion Week
Above: Blonde and beautiful at petitePARADE

Main image: Gorgeous girls strutting their
stuff for Stride Right at petitePARADE
Above: Lace and frills at GKFW

LONDON
Global Kids’ Fashion week premiered in London on 20 March this year, sponsored by children’s online retailer AlexandAlexa (found online at au.alexandalexa.com). This world first event held at Freemasons’ Hall, Covent Garden, featured two glamorous runway shows, an exclusive media-only event showcasing AW13 trends from leading labels and emerging designers, and a public show with the latest SS13 looks. Proceeds from all the ticket sales for the public fashion show were donated to Kids Company, the charity partner of the event.

90s revival was a key thread in all the designer collections showcased, and carefully curated looks paid tribute to a decade where colours were brighter, prints were bold and little details made a statement. Nostalgic fabrics, fairy tale details and faux fur were also key trends in the show. Thirty mini models took to the catwalk dressed in Oscar de la Renta, Paul Smith Junior, Junior Gaultier, Chloé, Little Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Missoni, BOSS Kids, Roberto Cavalli, and much more.

The 500-strong crowd of industry designers, media professionals, VIP mums and bubs, as well as key fashion bloggers were treated to the runway show and performances as well as a mix of post-show playful activities for children and parents in collaboration with event partner V&A Museum of Childhood. Cocktails and mocktails were served alongside entertainment from the London Children’s Ballet, mini manicures from Little Bu, and a giant bubble machine. There was also a bloggers lounge and sponsored photobooth to capture silly snaps.

MILAN
The fashion capital of the world played host to ‘Fashion Kids’ late last year which works as a charity event for disadvantaged children. The show was part of the wider Milan Fashion Week and aimed at raising funds for Italian charity, Children in Crisis Onlus, which put the proceeds towards the education of impoverished children around the globe. Children, fashion designers, media, and A-list celebrities watched the little models strut their stuff down the runway in designer ranges exclusively made for kids. And boy did they dress to impress!

MUMBAI
The first of its kind and new to the region, a children’s exclusive fashion week dedicated to designer childrensware was held in India in January 2012. Held in Mumbai’s Intercontinental Hotel the three day event featured 24 shows all displaying local Indian and neighbouring Middle Eastern designer wear. The kids’ fashion week was a signature affair and aimed at positioning the nation on the international fashion platform that is designer childrenswear.

A revolutionary event for the kids industry, designers and brands had the opportunity to establish their presence reaching audiences on the catwalk by displaying gracious garments and accessories to match. Brands featured included India’s and the Middle East’s best designers from Kidology, Coochhie Coo, 612 Ivy League, MAX and many more.

MAKING A MARK
Designers have also taken trend to showcasing their ‘to die for’ children’s ranges official fashion week shows: Paris Fashion Week saw Lanvin showcasing the house’s children’s collection on the 2012 runway show, and Oscar de la Renta revealed his at New York’s premier fashion week late last year. Dior has recently opened exclusive Baby Dior boutiques for children across Europe, with the flagship store gracing the streets of Paris. Shopping with mum has never been so much fun!

Main image: All packed up and ready
to go at GKFW
Above: Backstage at GKFW


Info: petitePARADE www.petiteparade.com  Global Kids' Fashion Week  www.globalkidsfashionweek.com
 Milan Fashion Week www.milanfashionweek.com
 India Kids' Fashion Week www.ikfw.in



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