Today, Net-a-Porter is taking its biggest step into the world of luxury kidswear with its first multibrand collective aimed at children.
Six brands are participating in the effort, each contributing a collection of luxury apparel aimed at young children between the ages of 1 and 12. They include Golden Goose, Lingua Franca, Yeah Right, Alanui, ATM and Chinti & Parker, all of which will contribute exclusive children’s pieces to the multibrand collection. The collection will be supported by an in-house-produced campaign featuring the children of fashion influencer Sai De Silva.
“We always pride ourselves for being a fashion authority. This collection is an excellent way to evaluate what our shoppers are interested in and also a good opportunity to feature children in our on-site campaigns for the first time,” said Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director for Net-a-Porter.
Net-a-Porter’s previous forays into childrenswear include launching a kids-focused line with Gucci in July of last year. At the time, Net-a-Porter president Alison Loehnis told Vogue the company had consistently been receiving feedback from customers asking for more children’s selection on the site and that in the future Net-a-Porter would be selling more kidswear. The company has also released limited-edition kidswear collections from Dolce & Gabbana and Moncler. The new multibrand effort is the e-commerce platform’s follow-up on the initial experiments.
According to Euromonitor, the total childrenswear market was worth $1.4 billion in 2017 and is estimated to grow by 8 percent by 2021. At the same time, the number of childrenswear businesses globally have grown by more than 16,000 over the course of 2018.
This growth has been buoyed, in part, by the increasing prominence of social media and the “mini me” trend of posting a photo of a mother or father and child wearing the same outfit. Brands like Gucci, Balenciaga and Burberry have embraced this trend by creating miniature versions of adult runway pieces made for children.
The past few years have seen brands from the streetwear world getting involved in childrenswear, as well, with new brands popping up like Kanye West’s Kids Supply and new lines from established brands like Bape Kids.
The “mini me” trend has had the perk of simplifying how consumers shop. When they can buy outfits for themselves and their children in the same location at the same time, it streamlines the shopping process.
“Parents are dressing their kids more sophisticated than ever before – mini-me style – in full track suits, activewear hook-ups, faux fur bomber jackets and skinny denim,” said Rachel Blumenthal, founder and CEO of childrenswear brand and subscription box service Rockets of Awesome. “At the same time, parents are opting for less seasonally specific pieces. They are prioritizing the special pieces that are more season-less and can be worn season after season.”
Net-a-Porter is conscious of this thought process and is leaning into it purposely.
“We’re testing the market, as we realize the strong potential for growth in this category; there’s a convenience we can provide for mothers who now can shop for themselves and their children on the same site at the same time,” said Von der Goltz. “Alanui is a great example of a brand that our customer adores, and for the Kids Casuals collective, we asked them to make exclusive children’s variations of their beautiful sweaters for a mom-and-me element.”
Net-a-Porter’s investment into childrenswear is consistent with the company’s strategy of trying to break into new categories. Last year, the company said it was looking to explore new categories, with a particular emphasis on eyewear, which saw 60 percent growth in the spring 2018 season compared to the previous season.
For Net-a-Porter, these new categories are fertile ground for growth and a way for the company to expand its areas of interest as it seeks to become a comprehensive location for luxury shoppers.
“There is certainly a lot of market research that is necessary for any category launch on Net-a-Porter,” said Von der Goltz. “The kidswear pop-ups feed into that and are a way to explore and seek potential growth into this new category. We’ve been analyzing our sell-throughs and speaking to brands to fully understand the need for kidswear for our global customer.”