Streetwear has garnered a lot of attention recently. While many have underestimated the segment and culture, this all changed when the Carlyle Group bought a 50% stake in Supreme for $500 million, putting the brand’s valuation at over $1.1 billion. Other signs of interest within the space include Equistone Partners’ acquisition of multi-channel streetwear retailer, DefShop and Highsnobiety, a blog that turned into a streetwear site, receiving its first backing from investors led by Frederic Court’s Felix Capital.
As streetwear has trickled into both menswear and womenswear, it’s only natural that it moves into childrenswear. Several streetwear brands have introduced a children’s line, such as BAPE and there has also been a rise in multi-brand streetwear retailers specifically for children, including HEIR Kid and Little Giants Giant Shorties. In fact, it has become so prevalent that the CEO of Hypebeast, the online men’s streetwear website, has launched Hypekids (seen above), a natural step after the success of Hypebae (for women).
So what is driving demand in children’s streetwear?
In 2017, millennials made up 90% of all new parents, and they are raising children in a completely different way. As first-time parents are now older than previous generations, they have more disposable income to spend on their children’s clothing. They also grew up in a time where fashion, particularly trainers and streetwear, evolved from an exclusive subculture to a mainstream movement, making streetwear particularly relevant to them.
Social media has changed the way we live, and today it puts pressure on both parents and children. Millennial parents, in particular, like to show their children in various settings and outfits on social media, while children are being exposed to trends and information at a very young age. Coco and Laerta are child influencers with more than 500,000 followers and both have not even turned ten yet.
Celebrities have always been key influencers in fashion, and today their children are key influencers in childrenswear. With the likes of Blue Ivy and North West sporting streetwear, demand for these items and looks have skyrocketed. Websites, such as Star Style Kids, post looks and links to buy these items and are driving demand to copy celebrity looks.
Children dressed as miniature versions of their parents is still trending and the incorporation of streetwear into childrenswear is unsurprising. In March 2017 Farfetch launched a children’s division and increasingly stocks matching outfits in both adult and children’s sizes.
The question is whether streetwear is a passing trend or not, and how long it will last. Fashion by its very nature must maintain relevance. Given the four drivers listed above, we think streetwear is not likely to disappear quickly, and those brands which can appeal to celebrities, millennials and social media users, are likely to enjoy success, particularly if they can stay ahead of how streetwear will inevitably evolve.