Net-a-Porter unveils kidswear offer in Gucci exclusive deal
First it was off-price, then menswear and then fine jewellery. Now Net-a-Porter’s latest product extension is a move into kidswear, although in this case, rather than a standalone site or dedicated area, it’s opting for a six-weeks-only (or until the pieces sell out) Gucci pop-up to guarantee exclusivity.
The launch will, from next Monday, see the luxury e-tailer selling a selection of mini-me pieces from the Alessandro Michele-helmed label.
The collection is also accompanied by a campaign that replicates aspects of the ensemble imagery Gucci creates for its adults offer. Called The Imagination Booth, it sees the cute kid models, shot by Mark Shearwood, playing in a vintage photo booth branded for both Gucci and Net-A-Porter and featuring fantasy animal illustrations.
The Gucci debut comes after Net-A-Porter's sibling menswear site Mr Porter launched a temporary section on the e-store dedicated to boys’ beachwear that has reportedly seen strong sales.
That’s perhaps no surprise given that growth in the kidswear market has outpaced that of the women’s and men’s markets of late. In the UK alone, Euromonitor last year said it would rise 13.2% in the next five years to reach £6.1 billion. Globally it was worth over $203 billion two years ago and while the designer category was worth only $5.89 billion, it’s a fast-expanding section of the market, influenced by the highest-end labels launching into the category and celebrity/royal babies and kids providing a constant stream of inspiration.
Net-a-Porter reportedly registered the name Petite-à-Porter several years ago, even though it hasn’t been used yet, and Farfetch launched a designer kidswear section on its site in 2016.
Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter president Alison Loehnis said the retailer’s customers are big fans of the Gucci label and the Michele style works for childrenswear. “Our customers love Gucci and the brand’s DNA translates incredibly well into kidswear. And, I would hasten to add, the clothes are incredibly cute,” she told Vogue. She also said the company has had repeated requests for it to add kidswear over the years.
The individual pieces will be available for boys and girls (both unisex and gender-specific) from babies up to age 12 and while Loehnis wouldn’t be drawn about plans to dive deeper into kidswear on a permanent basis, she hasn’t actually said that it won’t happen.
Net-a-Porter did offer childrenswear once before, a decade ago, but since then, the Mr Porter beach pop-up is its only other foray into the category. However, this Gucci deal following hot on the beachwear offer’s heels does suggest that there might be more to come, even if it means more exclusive pop-ups rather than an ongoing kids’ offer.
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