Is the ‘Kim Kardashian effect’ making moms buy kids’ designer clothes?

Whether you dress your child in hand-me-downs or the finest designer gear, there’s no doubting that infant wardrobes divide opinion nowadays

Eve Dugdale

Published: Updated:

Whether you dress your child in hand-me-downs or the finest designer gear, there’s no doubting that infant wardrobes divide opinion nowadays.

Thinking back to when most of us were young, aside from the odd party dress or flashing pair of trainers, there was little attention paid to children’s clothes.

But it really is big business now.

Indeed, reality star Kim Kardashian recently spoke about her seven-month old son’s pricey wardrobe on her website kimkardashianwest.com.

From custom-made bomber jackets to gold chains she said: ‘Saint has so many amazing designer pieces already’.

It’s no surprise given that Kim’s daughter North, who’s almost three, had a designer wardrobe before she was even born with her parents buying Chloe and Ralph Lauren dresses and the infant being gifted clothes from designers such as Balmain.

Saudi mum of three Hind identifies with Kim, who is married to musician Kanye West.

She also enjoys splashing out on her children’s wardrobes. She explains: “Even by four years old my daughter could identify brands and knew what she liked. I enjoy shopping with them.”

Wanting to dress your children in the finest garments is something British Nigerian mum of two Eseyoma Sodje-Waugh completely understands as well.

She explains how she spends a lot on her daughters Kitty, 5, and Betty, 1, and believes quality is better than quantity.

“I went out once and spent £280 on a Chloe dress. I also bought some Gucci shoes for over £100. I love quality dresses and shoes - Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Chloe, Ilovegorgeous - the quality really is better. I did buy cheap clothes but after one wash it was time to throw them out so I decided to stick to good quality clothes. My children are worth it.”

Eseyoma says she doesn’t spend without consideration though.

She adds: “My husband never understood why I bought expensive clothes and complained when we had our older child. But he knows why now because he sees that the quality is great and they are handed down to my second and then I will sell them. But yes I do hide some of the price tags!

“I also teach my children from a young age not to mess things up. When Kitty wore the Chloe dress for the first time, I took a spare dress for when she had her meal. Kitty knows not to ruin a nice dress because I have brought her up to appreciate everything because money doesn't grow on trees but if you work hard you can afford what you want in life.”

Nida Akram is the Senior Merchandiser at UAE-based TheLuxuryCloset.com. The website will be launching a luxury pre-loved clothes section next month offering up some stylish kidswear.

Nida believes being able to buy children designer clothes gives parents a real boost.

She says: “Our customers value quality above all, especially for their kids, even if that means spending a little extra money. Their focus is on quality fabrics and trendy styles for the season. It is definitely a luxury to purchase relatively expensive high-end children’s clothes however it is not something you can put a price on as parent. It gives a feeling of great satisfaction as it is more for the parent than the child wearing it.”

Explaining how the website will be introducing children’s luxury accessories because they are ‘heavily trending’ right now, Nida believes many parents follow the likes of Kim and Kanye when it comes to dressing their children.

She adds: “A lot of our customers are fashionistas, bloggers or are just active on social media. This means they are heavily influenced by celebrity fashion including celebrity kids’ fashion. They follow the same trends and tend to demand the same styles and brands that they will see on social media. This is definitely something we keep in mind when procuring our kids styles.”

Growing up in Dubai, Tala Ardalan says she is never surprised by the amount people spend. As a designer and owner of UAE kid’s boutique Lil Rocker, which sells girls’ tutus for around Dhs400, she thinks if people have money they should enjoy it.

She says: “I see a trend happening not only in the Middle East but also internationally where women are paying attention to their kids looking fashionable. Honestly I think it's great, you see a lot of street style for kids these days.

“It’s a personal choice, a lifestyle you choose to go with. I've been raised very fairly. I had great balance from my parents, never had too much of anything and education was a very important part of growing up. This led me to understand the value of money and how important it is to educate yourself. At the end of the day, you don't want to deprive your child of things so a good balance is what I would go for.”

Nevertheless, some mothers just don’t understand the logic of spending mega bucks on clothes that will become covered in grass stains and yoghurt.

Mum-of-two Noor Van Den Bogaard lives in the Netherlands and recycles all her children’s clothes.

She says: “We have a chain with a group of friends where we hand down and swap clothes, especially when they are young and they hardly wear the clothes. So my girl wears hand-me-downs from my friend's girl that she got from her friend and once my girl has outgrown them they go to another friend who has a younger girl. My son likes the idea that some of his shirts have belonged to his older, much-adored friends.

“My daughter Sarah is two now and hasn’t had any new shoes yet but she has so many!”