The Kid is the King, and how!
It is the largest fashion show for kids in Asia and Heer P Kothari gives a special insight on the India Kids Fashion Week which was held on January 18-19, 2014 at The Lalit Mumbai.
As teenagers, we let our imagination run wild—imagining ourselves walking the fashion runways, exuding glamour. Little did we imagine that there would come a time when kids would be the new showstoppers! The India Kids Fashion Week 2014 (IKFW) was symbolic of young minds and how they wish to portray themselves in today’s day and age. The show was brought to life with an array of kids products and apparel being showcased by the star teenyboppers themselves. And the kids sure did exude confidence as they walked the ramp; representative of today’s generation.
The event, in its second season this year, witnessed participation by renowned names, such as, Max, OKS BOYS, Sheetal, Libero, Beebay, ShoSho Bella, Sheena Creations, Kirti Rathore, Nishka Lulla, Pooja Jhunjhunwala and Kanchan Bawa. Spread over two days, this was indeed a star-studded affair with celebrities joining hands with the kids and
designers. Mandira Bedi, Vivek Oberoi, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Jimmy Shergill, Aditi Gowitrikar, Sarah-Jane Dias, Armaan Malik, Anushka Ranjan and many other well-known faces added to the glamour of the spectacular evenings here. The venue (The Lalit Mumbai) came alive with a blast of colours, apparel, toys, games and all the other things that make the life of a child beautiful and memorable. The IKFW thus, redefined fashion for the future of the country with panache.
THE FASHION INDUSTRY FOR KIDS YIELDS A MINIMUM OF R85,000 CRORES, EACH YEAR. IN ASIA, INDIA IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE LARGEST MARKET FOR KIDS’ FASHION.
Preparations for the event began months in advance. Online registrations made participation for kids from various parts of the country very easy. “The online registration was a breeze. My sister was enrolled within minutes for the audition of the event. People who conducted these auditions were very cordial and guided us appropriately with regards to the rules and proceedings. The garments too, were given on time. Numerous rehearsals post the auditions, also enabled the children to develop a certain degree of confidence,” stated Heena Surti, Student, and sister of Keeya Surti (model for Beebay).
The fashion industry for kids yields a minimum of 85,000 crores, each year. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Bulgaria, Roberto Cavalli, Chloe, Paul Smith, Diesel and many others are a part of this yield. However in Asia, India is perceived to be the largest market for kids’ fashion. In India, we earn as much as 38,000 crores of the total market yield, making us one of the biggest hubs in the kids’ fashion industry. Pankaj Khanna tells us why we have successfully acquired this status, as he states, “India’s dynamic culture has a big role to play in the success of this industry. Firstly, our designers are able to showcase a variety of products, which would, for instance, include party-wear, casual wear, western formals, Indian formals, Arabic styling and much more. Secondly, Indian parents are ready to spend a decent amount of money to make their kids look good. Thirdly, clothing brands for kids (in India) do not pinch one’s pocket as hard as some of the international brands (which is why they don’t seem to work as well). Designers in India are consciously aware that kids are going to outgrow their clothes in sometime and their parents wouldn’t want to pay a huge amount for something that they will not be able to use in the long run. Hence, the pricing is pretty reasonable for something that imbues better quality.”
Mansi Kapadia, Designer, Sheetal, says, “Today’s kids are more aware of what they are wearing. They are conscious of how they are carrying themselves and have a very emphatic say on what they are going to wear and what not. The exact reason for their awareness cannot be pinpointed; there are many reasons that one can be attributed to the same, which mainly include media exposure,
peer pressure, or mere imitation of their parents or people in their immediate surroundings.” According to Kanchan Bawa, who particularly designs for little girls, “I design for the girl child. Her dreams are short-lived as they are; at times, trampled over by gruesome happenings in the society. However, through my creations, I convey that she is a princess forever.” On further inquiring why other celebrated designers are not looking at the success of this industry, we learn, “The kids’ fashion industry has witnessed a slow and steady progression over the last five years and will continue to grow in the years to come. Like every teething child, the industry is facing its challenges and some of the bigger names are yet to experiment with the challenges they could face when it comes to kids’ wear,” adds Bawa.
WE ARE LOOKING AT MORE THAN JUST A FASHION WEEK FOR KIDS IN THE FORTHCOMING SEASON. THE IKFW WILL MAKE SURE THAT MORE SUCH EVENTS ARE HELD IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY TO ENSURE BETTER REACH AND VISIBILITY.
At times, some of the well known designers also outsource the kids’ wear jobs to lesser known designers, which gives rise to another dimension in this segment of the fashion industry. It is interesting to learn that many designers who deliver to a niche segment get orders for ‘father-son-look-alikes’ or motherdaughter-look-alikes,’ too. We are looking at more than just a fashion week for kids in the forthcoming seasons. The India Kids Fashion Week will make sure that more such events are held in various parts of the country, to ensure better reach and visibility. The future seasons of the IKFW will also be more involved on the business front with the kids beginning to use this fashion week as a platform through which they could probably learn modeling and even kick-start their careers.