Luxe

Of silver spoons and Gucci booties

Smita Singh | Updated on January 20, 2018

Happy as a baby Kidscollection from Germanluxury tableware makerVilleroy & Boch

Designer baby Onesies fromArmani

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The only thing cuter than a Dior bag, is probably a Dior baby bag. Here’s how indulgent and brand-savvy parents are teaching their tiny-tots the ways of luxury

Sia Mittal in Delhi boasts some of the top luxury brands in her wardrobe. Dior, Versace and Burberry, all find pride of place in her beautiful Belgian cupboard. While Sia’s mother has an equally enviable collection, there is one significant difference between the two — Sia is just a one-year-old.

If you believe luxury was only for adults, think again. From Baby Dior dresses to Gucci booties, from Burberry coats to Armani Junior shirts and Young Versace pants, couture brands are ensuring they create enough options to dress up your little one.

In fact, nothing is too much for the tiny tots born with the proverbial silver spoon. At Les Petits, a multi-brand children store at Delhi’s DLF Emporio — the Mecca for luxury shoppers in India — you can buy a Young Versace romper and bib set for your new born for ₹14,000 and a Fendi pram for a little over ₹1 lakh. And since your ‘princess’ will need something extra-special for her first birthday, how about a Baby Dior dress for around ₹45,000?

“Parents are a lot more aware now. Since they themselves consume luxury, purchasing luxury items for their kids is just natural progression. It’s an extension of their lifestyle,” says Sudeep Chhabra, business head of Unique Eye Luxury, which owns the franchisee rights for Armani Junior. The brand opened its first store at DLF Emporio in 2012 and another store in Mumbai is on the cards. The store stocks clothes and accessories for children from the age of three months to 16 years. Prices vary from between ₹6,500 for a t-shirt to ₹15,000-18,000 for baby comforters and blankets. Romper sets are between ₹12,000-15,000.

Little kids, big business

Globally, the luxury kidswear market is big business. While the market for children’s wear is pegged at $155 billion, the luxury baby and kidswear market is projected to be around $10-11 billion. Little wonder then that nearly all the big luxury houses have launched a kids range as an extension of their brand. While Dior and Ralph Lauren were early movers having launched Baby Dior in 1967 and Ralph Lauren children wear in 1978, respectively, it was only in the 2000s that other fashion designers decided to expand their reach. Little Marc Jacobs launched in 2005; Stella McCartney Kids in 2010; Lanvin, Marni, Gucci and Fendi Kids all arrived in 2011. Oscar de la Renta launched its range in 2012.

Of all the brands, Burberry which launched its kids’ collection in the mid-1990s has been a big player in the market. In 2011-12, £66 million of its total revenue came from children’s wear. This increased to £79 million by 2013-14 — almost four per cent of the company’s total revenue. In India, Burberry’s children’s wear range is available only at its store in Delhi. You can buy dresses for girls in the four-14 year-old category for between ₹15,000-20,000. T-shirts for 3-year-old boys with the famous Burberry check collar costs around ₹6,000 while pants are for around ₹8,000. However, if you wish to buy the famous Burberry trench coats available in the four-14 year age group, you will have to make a trip abroad as they are not available in Indian stores.

Gucci’s kids range is also available only at their store in Delhi. Pick up a pair of Gucci booties for ₹16,000 or a romper set comprising a romper, a bib and a cap for ₹18,000 for infants. A young girl’s Gucci dress will set you back by ₹18,000-20,000.

In case of both Burberry and Gucci you can walk into their stores in other cities and if you like something from the Delhi store it will be brought for you.

Brands such as Ralph Lauren are available online on multi-brand luxury websites such as Elitify. Order a dress with matching bloomers for your three month to two-year-old daughter for ₹9,000 and have it delivered home.

It’s not just clothes and accessories that are available for your little ones but even crockery. German luxury tableware maker Villeroy & Boch has a kids collection available at its stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. You can buy plates, mugs and cereal bowls, all made of hard paste porcelain decorated using lithography techniques. The collection has animals such as little bears, lions, monkeys, etc. in bright colours. Purchase a mug for ₹2,500 or a seven-piece baby set comprising two plates, a mug and cutlery for ₹9,900. And what happens when your little one drops the plate and it breaks? Villeroy & Boch will replace it free of cost for the first two years.

Why should kids have all the fun

For brand conscious and luxury consuming moms, an essential item is the diaper bag. Gone are the days when new moms carried cloth, plastic or faux leather bags with cheesy animal or cartoon prints. The new ‘with it’ moms have a range of diaper bags from nearly all the top luxury brands to choose from. “Diaper bags are one of the hottest selling items,” says Chhabra. At the Armani Junior store they are priced between ₹25,000-30,000. And they are in demand not only in the metros but also in smaller towns. Chhabra narrates the story of how a young mom-to-be called him from Kanpur and asked him to WhatsApp pictures of the diaper bags that he had in stock. She purchased one for ₹25,000 by transferring money to the store’s bank account and Chhabra couriered it to her.

At Burberry’s Delhi store, diaper bags are priced at ₹97,000. Gucci diaper bags are available at its Delhi store for ₹78,000-80,000. And if you are not pleased with the collection in India, you can always order it online, just like Coimbatore-based Shalini Balaji who ordered a diaper bag on the Burberry website for ₹68,000 and got it shipped to a cousin in the US who brought it with him when he came to visit.

Luxury holidays

There was a time when kids were the least wanted guests at hotels, and the staff would raise their eyebrows at those who made a ruckus. Well, not any more. Hoteliers have also realised that happy kids make happy guests, and that’s why high-end hotels are adding all kinds of children’s activities and amenities. At the Ritz Carlton in Berlin your kids can whizz around the lobby in a mini Mercedes Benz, at the St Regis Resorts and Hotels they are spoilt with surprises throughout their stay, Le Meridien Hotels have tied up with Lego and at check-in, each child gets a free Lego set. Even hotels in India have a variety of activities for kids and child-specific menus to make your and your little ones’ stay as comfortable as possible.

While they may have had to grow up to experience real luxury, today’s parents are making sure that their kids are born with it.

Smita Singh is a freelance writer



Published on April 21, 2016

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