Something's happening in the world of childrenswear that's defying the downturn.
News in is that Laura Ashley – now defunct in Ireland but still available online – is set to revive its girlswear offering. Stella McCartney's range is coming to Dublin, the flagship label for the newly expanded kidswear section at Brown Thomas. (Mark 20 February in your diary and prepare for the scrum!) And River Island joined the bandwagon last season when it launched its first 'Boys and Girls' collection.
It looks like childrenswear is getting more discerning than ever, something Emma Colleary, who runs upmarket kids' store Serendipity in Ranelagh, Dublin, wholeheartedly agrees with. "In a recession, people will stop spending on themselves before their children," she says. She launched near the height of the boom in 2006 and has just opened a second premises in Blackrock, Co Dublin.
"People always want to dress their children nicely so there remains a strong demand for kidswear and particularly for occasion and gifts," she says.
In saying that, there have been casualties in the Dublin childrenswear market this year – Worldwide Kids in Rathgar, Fizzywinks in Terenure and Milk + Cookies in the Westbury Mall among them.
"I was quite lucky," says Colleary. "I diversified in the nick of time and started buying in less high-end product, and also added toys. I just have to make sure I have the right product offering."
The truth is that there's never been a better time for consumers. From H+M and Penneys for cheap and cheerful, to Cath Kidston and Petit Bateau for cool factor (and kudos to Paul Smith Kids and Catamarini for labels to love), childrenswear is having a moment. And that's not to mention the excellent Autograph range at M&S as well as the popular John Rocha, Matthew Williamson, Jasper Conran and Ted Baker ranges at Debenhams.
On the catwalk as seen at Jill Sander and especially as a colour pop on lips. Might we recommend MAC Full Fuchsia? Hot!
It's chunky. It's kinda trashy. It's got fluoro. It is everything we want in a piece of jewellery. €105.04 from net-a-porter.
Do you want a skirt that cuts you off mid calf? Of course not. Maxi is far more flattering.
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