Children’s luxury fashion is quite the money-making business. In the UK alone the market was valued at £6.5 billion in 2011. In London, Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty all have dedicated children’s wear departments selling scaled-down collections by a multitude of international designers.
20th March 2013 marks the launch of the first ever Global Kids Fashion Week at the Freemasons’ Hall in west London. This two-day event exists thanks to online children’s wear, Alexandalexa. As sponsors for the Global Kids Fashion Week, Alexandalexa has seen a 150% increase in the past year. Now with 850 million users worldwide, their range spans from Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney and Burberry to name a few children’s wear to educational toys such as Lego.
The website was developed in 2007 by husband and wife Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till, and now trades more than 200 brands. “There is more interest in the market than ever before. And yet, unlike women’s wear, there is no vehicle to talk about it. Global Kids Fashion Week will be the first London event of its kind,” stated Alex.
There will be two catwalk shows: the first is a private media showing of autumn/winter 2013 trends from leading international labels worn by children. The second show, which is open to the public, will feature present trends for spring/summer 2013. Proceeds from this show will go to Kids Company, a charity supporting vulnerable inner-city children. The models are all volunteers, while Kids Company children will be supporting backstage.
Brands from Paul Smith to Junior Gaultier will be presenting one or two looks in a carefully choreographed showcase. The prominence of the performance is on the word fun, as many of the children are cast from dance and drama schools. Shortly after the show, the edited video will be streamed on the Alexandalexa website, permitting customers to click and buy the clothes fashioned on the catwalk.
As Anna Reid, Alexandalexa’s head of brand so eloquently pointed out, “We are not going to live-stream. It would be just awful if someone burst into tears!”
Despite this being the first occurrence of its kind in London, Alex has been inundated with the reactions of retailers and brands requesting to collaborate in the production. Plans are already underway to make this an annual event.
Kids Company charity’s founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh announced, “Kids Company is delighted that its children will be benefiting through funds raised at one of the events. It is the kindness of strangers that has enabled Kids Company to remain a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable children. If these strangers are well-dressed, then it’s a bonus.”