As the Editor-of-Chief of Accessories Magazine, I don’t usually cover the children’s market, but I was curious to see how “grown up” trends trickle down to the younger market. Plus, smart fashion retailers are adding in kids items that moms can pick up as impulse items while shopping for themselves. So I hit up the August edition of Children’s Club trade show at the Javits Center to see what’s what and discovered some things along the way, one being that I am saving a lot of money by having a son and not a daughter!! Note: if you don’t like glitter, rainbows and unicorns, stop reading…
17 Truths about the kid’s market:
ADULTS JUST WANT TO BE KIDS…
I think many of the grown ups in the room were reliving their past youths… and bemoaning the fact that we didn’t have such fun items ‘When WE were kids…”
…AND KIDS JUST WANT TO BE ADULTS
I was surprised how many of the accessories and fashions were right out of the adult playbook. Round woven straw cross bodies? Check! Macrame totes? Check? Soft 3D florals? Check? Dusty hues and prairie dresses and flounces? Check! Petit Alo, at the show’s new and elevated CURATE section, was on point all the way.
LIFE IS GOOD
Kids these days have it pretty darn good (don’t let them tell you otherwise). iScream celebrated the happy state of being with colorful words and rainbow pom poms floating in clear bags. Pharrell Williams knew what he was singing about!
KIDS ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Steve Madden believes in the next generation, as do I! May they grow up to be activists, save the planet and bring world peace!
UNICORNS ARE REAL… AND THEY ARE IMMORTAL
Fabled character? Not a chance. Unicorns are alive and well in the children’s market, and will probably live forever. Kidsworld magazine even set up a whole Unicorn Nation featuring numerous brands from the show.
…BUT SLOTHS ARE (SLOWLY) MOVING IN
What will replace the unicorn? And the mermaid? A few people mentioned sloths as a contender, mentioning they are “slowly” moving in. #tradeshowhumor
RAINBOWS WILL BRING THE POT OF GOLD
Retailers looking for the big moneymakers needn’t look any further then the end of the rainbow. Rainbows, both in color or actual motif, are everywhere, often with clouds at both ends. Above, Bari Lynn’s glitter rainbow handbag.
CELEBRATING DIFFERENCES CAN BE A BEAUTIFUL THING
It’s hard enough for kids to fit in, and those with struck with disabilities have a double whammy. Footwear company Elephantito has teamed up with the non-profit Act4Me to create a collection of mismatched shoes to show that being different is beautiful.
INDIVIDUALITY CAN BE COOLER THAN CONFORMITY
Playing off the differences theme, children should be taught to be “loud and proud” about their individuality. Ciao Milano’s I Am What I Am coat with sequins and dripping paint looked like a cool graffiti item.
IT’S GOOD TO BE THE QUEEN
Why does everyone say all little girls want to be princesses? Let’s take this up a notch and crown them all queens…literally. These lace, and glitter crowns from Petite Hailey are adjustable for any age and suitable for a variety of occasions (who only celebrate birthdays when she can be Queen every day?).
… THE DISCO QUEEN
Mia’s clever roller disco display wasn’t just an attention getter, it was a lesson in how one can be creative on a dime. The brand used disco balls as mannequin heads, spray painted cheap Halloween cobwebs into rainbow cotton candy hats (apparently, real cotton candy melts real quick) and covered roller skates in glitter. They even bought an old boom box on eBay and spray painted it hot pink. We joked about playing it, but a cassette? As if!
FOOD PRINTS ARE EVEN CUTER WHEN THEY’RE ACTUALLY SHAPED INTO FOOD
Little Miss Matched shaped its doughnut socks like doughnuts, its pizza socks like pizza slices, and its burger socks like… well you get the idea. It was a clever piece of marketing, and the items are sold in cute “take out” boxes.
THE BUILT-IN HANDBAG IS A PRETTY COOL IDEA
Judging by the amount of little handbags at the show, girls love their handbags. But the handbag patch was a really fun idea, and a way for a girl to stash some coins for the bubble gum machine. All while making sure they never lose their handbag.
TRENDS TRICKLE DOWN ALMOST LITERALLY… WITH A TWIST
Large sun hats with writing are all over the adult accessories market, but it was fun to see how the kid’s market twist. While adults might wear Do Not Disturb or on Airplane Mode written on their hats, Catimini showed us Sun…and Ice Cream.
ICE CREAM REMAINS
Blame it on the Museum of Ice Cream that has filled everyone’s Instagram for a year, but girls just wanna wear their ice cream.
THERE’S ALWAYS AN ‘ITEM’
No matter how many thousands of trade show miles you’ve logged over the decades, there is always something new to discover. I loved these magnetic pocket pouches from newcomer Pocket Pix that temporarily adhere to pretty much anything. Attach to the outside of a bag to hold your phone at a trade show, your license at the airport or a million other things that you might not want to fumble through your bag for.
YES SHE CAN
Girl empowerment messages were everywhere, and our favorite was the tactile, reverse sequin version. A message so real you can reach out and touch it!