A Great Start of the Season
What’s new, pussycat?
Cats are definitely a trend,
especially big black ones, from an iron-on application with
glow-in-the-dark eyes from Bij Kiki to the irresistible black stuffed
animal Caspar from Jellycat. Kitties have always been popular, of
course, so what was new?
The successful open circular layout of MARKET by kleine fabriek channels all the focus on the product, making it easy to see which products are new. Like the clever eco-cotton ‘knotted’ sleeping bags with non-toxic prints - of, for instance, a mermaid’s tail or magnified measuring tape - from the Canadian label Electrik Kidz that made its debut in the European market at the event.
We saw fabulous diaper bags that just as easily can be used as a shopper, laptop bag or iPad sleeve in; for example, Ibiza style from the new Berlin brand Mara Mea, and a diaper pouch in soft leather packaged in a lovely baby shower gift box, the result of a collaboration between the new Dutch baby label Mies & Co and Van Veer.
There were perfect gifts aplenty at Market by kleine fabriek, from tins with cheerfully illustrated 100% natural anti-mosquito stickers for the little ones from Squitos, cute rucksacks in the shape of a hedgehog, polar bear or fox for the first day of school from Trixie Baby and the new Play&Go play mat from OKU for fast and easy tidying up by storing all toys. OKU, the specialist in eco-friendly wooden toys, presented yet another new product called Kapla Challenge, a small set of the famous building boards (kabouterplankjes), but with highly challenging building projects. After all, one thing is certain in the kids business - there’s always a next level!
New focus & new names
An important trend we’ve noticed is brands returning to their roots, their original DNA. They are not returning to square one, but emphasising their distinctiveness. At M-Agency, the popular brand Like Flo has returned completely to its home territory, but with an updated design team. There was also considerable showcasing of new names like the Dutch By-Bar by Barbara Brenninkmeijer, the new edgy label MISS Sophies, the new Leoca brand from Paris, a high-end girl’s label with a real haute couture feel - which can only be expected considering that one of the founders is the owner of Colette - and, finally, the brand Andorine of Portugal, which has succeeded in snaring no less than Beyoncé daughter Blue Ivy as its ambassador. All of these are real ‘treats’ for high-end children’s fashion boutiques.
The ‘mini-me’ trend
is also here to stay, with designers basing their concepts more and
more on the tastes of fashion-minded mums and dads, but with an even
greater accent on the kids. The new Danish label The New for boys and
girls is a good example of this, with sophisticated materials, lots of
black and high-fashion influences like luxury details and athleisure
with a touch of glitter, but 100% kidsproof.
Speaking of trends, Manon from online kids fashion magazine JustbyManon.nl quickly identified a few cool trends at Market by kleine fabriek: lots of fringe, clipped flock prints galore, continued popularity of the bomber and embroidery with the most exquisite level of detail, but what stood out most was the colour dark green in almost every collection. It could be seen absolutely everywhere, even in the MARKET campaign and decor.
One of the most challenging characteristics of the children’s fashion and lifestyle branch is that children grow up: that cute baby phase is over in a flash and, before you know it, your baby is a teenager. There is considerable potential, for instance, at the top of the size range for labels with enough ‘cool factor’. One such brand is Molo, which now ranges to size 176 and has adapted its logo to this change, with a sleeker larger M without the hand.
Children’s fashion shop Wijsneus of Groningen is also looking for ways to grow along with its target group and, thanks to its new building, can do just that. “Customers grow along with you and want to continue visiting your shop, at least the brick-and-mortar one. So we decided to expand our product range with must-haves for shopping parents.”
The opposite is also a trend, namely turning their focus to the children’s fashion business. At the last minute, Celia Geraedts and Lotje Terra decided to demonstrate their natural painting processes with madder, turmeric, grated pernambuco and indigo at Market by kleine fabriek. They are already active in the denim world, but launched their kids label Boro Mini this March, which they produce in their brand-new studio in Amsterdam West, where they work with Syrian refugees with artisanal skills and the long-term unemployed. Boro Mini is so ‘eco’ that it is edible - in principle - and socially responsible!