Featured in Town & Country

For Christmas last year Nicky Rothschild’s eldest daughter, Lily-Grace, who is seven, asked for two things: a jean jacket and a jump rope. Which seems like a normal request for a child her age, right? Not anymore. These days kids are more precocious than ever, and nowhere is this more apparent than in their shopping habits. Ten-year-olds are emptying the Drunk Elephant shelves at Sephora. Eight year-olds are walking into boutiques in Beverly Hills and asking for Off-White crop tops and Stone Island bombers. The conditioning begins early.


Take Sienna Miller. Days after giving birth to a baby girl, she went for a stroll around London with her newborn swaddled in an Artipoppe carrier made of vicuña and cashmere that retails for $3,800. Then, of course, there is Cardi B’s five-year-old, Kulture, reigning princess of Instagram’s rich kids. (She has her own account, @kulturekiari, with 2 million followers.) Kulture has been carrying around a pink Birkin—not to mention mini It bags by Balenciaga, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior—since she was about two.


Curating a designer wardrobe for your child—once a practice reserved for celebrities and reality TV stars—is going mainstream, as a growing number of parents swap Jacadi for Jacquemus, Bonpoint for Brunello Cucinelli. “Our kids business has seen significant growth over the past few years,” says Dayna Ziegler, senior vice president of contemporary and modern ready-to-wear and kids at Saks Fifth Avenue. Since 2022 the retailer has added 70 new brands to the category, including Cult Gaia, Bogner, Christian Louboutin, and Amiri, an L.A.-based label that offers distressed skinny jeans, for ages four and up, for $750. “One of the biggest trends,” Ziegler says, “is the increase of designers like Marni and Dolce & Gabbana offering mini versions of their popular handbag styles that are suitable for kids.” And, not surprisingly, the more logos the better: “Our customers gravitate toward identifiable brand elements, like Versace and Burberry,” she says.


While luxury labels making baby clothes is hardly a new concept—several designers have been in the game for years—exploding demand has propelled more high-end labels to join in the fun and unlock the soaring ROI potential of this demographic. “Three years ago it was just Gucci that was doing a good job. No one else was as competitive about it,” says Kelly Dowdy, owner of English Rabbit, a Beverly Hills children’s boutique that counts new mom Paris Hilton as a regular. “Now our designer department is huge. Specifically, the baby clothes are extremely popular. That’s when parents can make all the decisions as to what the kids can wear.” (Right now that means they’re buying Versace onesies and Zimmermann dresses that match their own.)


The OGs of the space are upping their game too. Dior, which has been creating exquisite childrenswear since 1967, is invest- ing heavily in Baby Dior; a $230 scented water for infants and a ski collection were recently added to its portfolio. Plus, as Baby Dior’s creative director, Cordelia de Castellane, tells T&C, Dior is still the only maison with a dedicated couture atelier pour les enfants. “All done by hand, with embroidery often inspired by original Christian Dior clothes,” she says. “For women who are already into fashion, you can push the envelope more with kids, because everything is so cute,” Dowdy says. “You can have them wear stuff that maybe you’re too old for—they can get away with it.” Although judging from the ubiquity of women sporting over-the-top bows these days (see below), not everyone subscribes to the codes of age-appropriate dressing.


That designer kids clothes are flourishing against a cultural backdrop of a feverish obsession (by grown-ups) with girlhood tropes further rein- forces the Freaky Friday vibe of it all. If Mom gets to put a bow in her hair, why can’t her kid wear a Balenciaga sweatsuit? “I don’t think children should be wearing status symbol clothing,” Rothschild says. “Per- sonally, I find the logos for children incredibly obnoxious. They have their whole lives ahead of them to dress like that.” She does concede, however, that she got her two daughters Max Mara teddy coats (the brand launched kids versions of the iconic style last fall). “That I couldn’t resist.”