Mini-me Business: From matchy-matchy to haute couture

“Mini-me” outfits mean parents and children dressing the same and it is very different of the matchy-matchy style from 60’s era when it was usual to make garments for mother and children using the same fabric. The current mini-me business is invested by renowned luxury brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana. In markets like Middle East and Russia, it is a phenomenon because mothers enjoy feeling elegant besides of their daughters, using the same brand.

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Photo: Beyoncé and Blue Ivy in Gucci | Photo: @beyonce | The Business of Fashion

In the opinion of Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye, chief executive of Chloé, the success of mini-sized versions is credited to the fact that “mothers take pride in seeing their daughters look like themselves” and that others want “to share the brand’s DNA of being ‘free’ with their children.”

With approximately 8 years of constant growth, the matching outfit between mother and daughter also became an interesting opportunity for small and local businesses. China and Latin America countries also spend a lot of money dressing their children. In Brazil, this market is evident with the word-of-mouth of parties in which the mother dresses like her daughter, trend influenced by celebrities-moms and their mini-fashionistas.

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The Brazilian Le Infance is specialized in luxury outfits for girls between 0 to 12 years old. Dresses with Swarovski crystals, silk musseline and pearls are part of the brand’s portfolio. Photo: @fabio_guidoni | Le Infance Facebook

 

More than a question of taste, it is fundamental to create specific pieces for each life phase and to be aligned with society and emotional values. In the opinion of Mehlman Petrzela, professor at the New School in Manhattan, “There’s the infantilization of women to look like little girls and, on the flip side, [the pressure] for young girls to always look older— to wear bikinis and crop tops.” On the other hand, according to Ellen Kirkhope, kidswear director at trend forecasting agency WGSN, Instagram influencers who are mothers and have an appealing lifestyle “are doing well at creating worlds that have a certain aesthetic with brands that feed into it”

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Photo: @jessiekass | Jessie Chanes | Seams for a desire

 

In digital era, this generation of children want to wear the same clothes of young people and the way that parents buy childrenswear also changed a lot in a short space of time. A few years ago, the most representative sales factor was driven by practicality: classic pieces, timeless design. Currently, the “wow” factor of sales for brands is to be “trend-oriented”. Consumers have become more likely to make purchases based on fashionable pieces rather than practical items, fact that incremented kidswear market growth. The children lines are now long-awaited collections full of novelty, from runway looks to ready-to-wear collections.

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Photo: Dolce & Gabbana | Summer 2019 Mini Me collection

Brands that want to invest on this business need to be aware of female social pressure and new habits of consumption of digital era. Perhaps, the most important discussion that the mini-me business can generate is the sharing of values from mother to children. As an example, it is possible to cite sustainability, but it is a topic for my next article…

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