Kidding becomes a serious business

Fashion apparel retailers have identified the kids of rich parents as the growth accelerator.
Kidding in a luxurious way

Global recession affected almost every segment of the apparel industry, the children’s wear market remained strong as against the men’s wear and women’s wear categories in the past one year and the luxury brands are now eyeing the market.

Kids business is unlike their appetite.

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA), a US based market research company claims that the global market for children’s wear is projected to reach US $ 156.8 billion by the year 2015. In India, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimates that the kids wear industry is worth Rs 38,000 crore, and growing at a compound annual rate of about 20 percent to reach Rs 80,000 crore by 2015.

Overall, the baby and children’s market in India is pegged at over $5 billion, growing at 20-25 per cent a year. According to a Technopak report, the overall children’s market in India can be broadly divided into five segments: super premium (above Rs 2,500), premium (Rs 1,000-2,500), mid (Rs 500-1,000), economy (Rs 250-500) and lower (up to Rs 250). The research firm said by far the mid-segment, with a market share of 31 per cent, is expected to reach 58 per cent by 2020.

Factors fuelling the growth

In an analysis on “Market of Indian kids wear”, it has been pointed out that Kids fashion has percolated down to Tier II and Tier III cities like Dehradun, Chandigarh, Pune, Nashik and Indore, Varanasi etc.

There have been obvious reasons for such a shoot in the business. Rising income levels, trend towards nuclear families and potential desire to offer the best to their children are some of the factors attracting consumers into this.

Kids have become independent buyers

The other important change that is taking place in this area is the emergence of kids as an independent buyer group. Influenced by mass media and peer pressure, today's kids are more informed and self-conscious.

Kids are aware of branded goods and brands are also realising the potential of market and are increasing their presence in this segment. Children's apparel includes clothing for kids between 1 and 14 years of age.

The market for girl's wear is far greater than boy's wear throughout the world. Boy's apparel tends to centre on basics. Girl's wear, however, thrives in all channels from specialty stores to department stores to discounters.

From the manufacturer’s perspective: Low stitching and manufacturing costs and relatively less competition are the prime reasons for international brands luring Indian market.

 Status conscious parents

Before the children become the product of any esteemed college or university, they are the products of their parents. Reflection of the personality of their parents, these small legs have become the walking billboards of celebrity and rich parents.

Mothers are now spending enormous amounts on clothing for their children, as they believe that the way a kid is dressed is often a reflection of the parents’ sense of style. Higher-cost brands are generally reserved for special occasions this is due to the fact that parents tend to dress their children like themselves, and will seek to incorporate brands that fit with the family's lifestyle.

Celebrity influence

Suri, the celebrity daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, has a wardrobe collection estimated at $ 3.2 million. 10 year old daughter of pop-sensation Will Smith, Willow Smith and David and Victoria Beckham’s eight-year-old son Romeo have already made it to GQ magazines best dressed list. All of this has ignited the spirit in the rich Indian clientele to see their little ones in same international labels


Creating a category in the form of kids luxury wear, high premium brands have entered the kids wear market. They are targeting the young ones which will help them build clients for life.

£66 million of Burberry’s 2011-2012 revenue came from the sale of children’s wear, marking a growth of 19% for the category, driven by the Asia Pacific region. They recently celebrated children wear launch in Mumbai.

Recently, Giorgio Armani has confirmed the launch of Armani Junior in India, with the assistance of local designer Suneet Varma. The store is just a few steps away Les Petite, a 1,500 sq. ft. shop that is home to labels such as Baby Dior, Miss Blumarine and Fendi Kids. The range starts from Rs 5,500 and goes all the way up to Rs 1, 71,500. In her opinion about the growing opportunity, Founder, Les Petite, Swati Saraf said, “It’s when fashion magazines and newspapers flash photographs of Suri, daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, often sporting designer attire and accessories that affording parents in India want to see their little ones in those labels as well and cannot wait for their next trip abroad. The other big target segment is the expat community – be it the high commission and the embassy staff or the top executives of the multinational companies, especially from Europe and Americas, stationed in India owing to their work. They too love coming to Les Petits for they now have an access to best brands, as they have in their own respective countries.”

 Varma’s firm, Unique Eye Luxury Apparel, signed a three store deal with Giorgio Armani, identifying the future potential in kids wear as a key opportunity.

Indian Label, Kidology has tied up with designers Gauri, Nainika, Gaurav Gupta, Namrata Joshipura and Ritu Kumar to design apparels for children upto 10 years old. Beside its own stores in Delhi and Mumbai, Kidology also sells through other retail outlets in Mumbai and Hyderabad and are planning new stores in Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Children’s outfits priced at Rs.12,000 may sound way too much but the partners say there are takers at that price. Kidology has been growing at 40 per cent y-o-y basis.

As these international players are eyeing Kids of rich Indian parents, fancy dress competitions held in schools will be very soon called designer dress competition. With an excess of options in the near future, the kids will have a problem of plenty, where ignorance will no more be bliss. 

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