Why Retailers Are Looking At Childrenswear As Luxury’s Next Generation
With fashion houses now catering to the littlest shoppers, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is expanding its stable of luxury childrenswear, giving stylish kids of Southeast Asia reason to rejoice.
It’s official: luxury boutiques are downsizing—that is, they’re catering to a younger, mini customer. In the age of social media‑savvy shopping, style starts at a young age. One need only look to the likes of Blue Ivy Carter, North West, and the Beckham brood to know that these days, it’s all about tiny trendsetters. These celebrity offspring are quickly gaining on their superstar parents in terms of fashion influence. In fact, it’s no longer surprising when any fashion item worn by the royally adorable Prince George and Princess Charlotte immediately sells out in stores—a trickle-down effect their mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, knows a little something about.
Echoing their more famous counterparts, children all over the globe are joining their style-savvy mums and dads in building covetable, photogenic wardrobes that differentiate them on the playground. Some stylish kids are even becoming Insta-famous for their pint-sized takes on trends. It was only a matter of time before luxury brands started paying more attention to these fashionistas-in-the-making.
With an increasing number of fashion houses having launched separate lines for babies and children, the kidswear market has become the darling of luxury retail. Parents have been showing off their children for centuries, but now, fashion-forward mothers and fathers are more than happy to indulge in their children by injecting style into their wardrobes as a reflection of their own taste, earning Insta-points while they’re at it.
As children grow up and begin to develop their own sense of style, the wardrobe given to them by their parents is undoubtedly influential. It’s never too early to start building brand loyalty with the future generation of luxury shoppers, who are growing up in a world where every style move you make can be scrutinised on social media.
Kiddie retail goes luxe
Now that children have become fashion’s new muses, it’s about time that they get their own luxury playgrounds to exercise their developing style muscles. In Southeast Asia, and especially in Singapore, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is leading the charge in children’s luxury retail, enhancing the way parents shop for—and with—their little ones.
“In today’s environment of exclusivity and quality, the retail experiences that the market is catering for adults and children are on par,” says John Postle, vice president of retail at Marina Bay Sands. “This can be seen in numerous aspects, from the calibre of designs released by renowned fashion houses, to the extensive selection of apparel, right down to the VIP treatment that even little adults can expect to receive when they step in store.”
Starting in 2014, with the opening of key standalone boutiques Baby Dior, Fendi Kids and Ralph Lauren Children, The Shoppes has been growing an impressive portfolio of luxury children’s stores, adding Dolce & Gabbana Junior and Armani Junior, among others.
Not only do the stores offer a unique shopping destination for kids, the luxury children’s boutiques are clustered at the North Promenade of the shopping mall, overlooking the ice skating rink and situated near the beloved toy store Hamleys of London—many of these are the brands’ first and only standalone children’s stores in the region.
The exciting roster of luxury kidswear boutiques at The Shoppes continues to grow in 2017, when additional stores are expected to open. The anticipated line‑up of brands includes Gucci Kids, Kenzo Kids, Stella McCartney Kids and Paul Smith Junior, all of which will be the first standalone stores for the childrenswear lines in Singapore.
A family affair
With more than 170 luxury and premium brands across multiple demographics housed within The Shoppes, it’s the biggest collection in Southeast Asia, acting as a one-stop retail destination for luxury customers. And with many brands often encompassing multiple iterations of its namesake—Dior’s main business is womenswear, but there is also Dior Homme, Parfums Christian Dior and Baby Dior, all of which are within steps of each other at The Shoppes—shopping becomes an all-day affair for the whole family, with everyone’s favourite brands within easy reach.
“Only at The Shoppes can shoppers enjoy the most comprehensive and in-depth selection, now catering to both adults and children, under one roof,” says Postle. “The ease of accessibility is a unique point of differentiation for our shoppers.”
And while some parents choose to shop online or overseas for their kids, those who are seeking guaranteed quality, service and exclusivity shouldn’t hesitate to make a trip down to The Shoppes.
In addition to carrying exclusive designs not available in-store anywhere else in the region, many of the boutiques create an environment steeped in luxury that caters to both parents and children. These include offering refreshments such as juice and milk to their “little adult” shoppers. Baby Dior keeps jars full of pastel-hued marshmallows flown in from France for its sweet-toothed clientele. Some boutiques have catered special areas for kids to draw or play in. And most of the stores maintain a close rapport with VIP customers, inviting them for exclusive previews of sales or private appointments when collections arrive in-store, ensuring your little one gets first dibs on the new season’s threads.
“We are confident that the luxury children’s boutiques at The Shoppes are befitting of their mission to cater to little adults,” Postle says. “It may be the ambience and novelty of a flagship concept, or the immaculate pearl and marble furnishing interior, but quite likely the luxury VIP treatment and exceptional service shoppers are seeking.”
Whether you choose to go the mini-me route by dressing your kids to look like pint-sized versions of mum and dad, or you’d rather curate a wardrobe that’s totally unique to your child, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands will not only make shopping together with your young ones easier, but more fun while you’re at it.
After all, when it comes to your little ones, only the best luxuries will do.