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Children's Apparel Industry

FM 114- Chapter 11

Rebecca Greenspan

on 5 November 2012

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Transcript of Children's Apparel Industry

Children's Apparel Industry Gone are the days where children are seen and not heard... producers heed the newly acquired sophistication of children. This presents a wonderful opportunity for designers to adapt to the wants and needs of the savvy new customers.

Creating clothes for infants, toddlers, and teens who have adults pay for their wardrobe is a business that generates more than 30 billion dollars annually.

and this is how it all began... History of The Children' Apparel Industry Once upon a time...

Children were considered as mini adults and would therefore dress like them (Example: colonial era with bustles and necklines).
Over time children’s clothes began to look different from adults (end of the 1800s)
Most children's clothing was made larger than the size of the child so he/she could grow in to them and many clothes were hand-me-downs from older siblings; they were very dull but sturdy
and then... something magical happened the concept of the Children’s Wear Industry was born in the 20th century! After WWI commercial production and distribution of children’s wear began.
Women stopped making their own clothes, and therefore they stopped making their children’s clothes
Factories figured out how to make children’s clothes sturdier than homemade clothes by using, zippers, snaps and more durable sewing methods History of The Children' Apparel Industry Psychological Importance of the Industry The children's apparel industry has much more meaning, than simply trying to make a child stylish...

Psychologists believe that clothes play an important role in the shaping of a child's self-image.
The counterargument is the idea of school uniforms, which fosters a sense of belonging to a group.
BUT they both agree and recognize the importance of clothing's to a child's self identity. Demographics of the Industry In the 1970’s the birth rate declined, average number of children per family was 2 or less.
In the 1980’s the number of babies born increased for the first time since the 1960's, and now more families had 2 incomes and were now buying more in quantity and quality.
In the 1990’s the mother’s income came to be viewed as essential to the family’s financial well-being rather than “extra money,” and new market of grandparents developed.
In the 2000’s the number of women between ages of 20-35, who account for ¾ of the births in the US is projected to increase by 7%

The Children's apparel industry is unusual in the extent that it has been shaped by demographics (statistical characteristics by a population). History of The Children' Apparel Industry Soon manufacturers of children's clothing began using standardized sizes.
The next major change within the industry was the introduction of radios and movies into American homes. (mothers began to dress their girls like Shirley Temple, and boys like cowboy western heroes)
Another change that closely effected the Children's Apparel Industry (and fashion as a whole) was the introduction of Television. Media Influences The introduction of radio, movies, and most importantly television had a huge effect on the Children's Apparel Industry and have continued to impact the industry until today...
Advertising is directed at children
Television programs are geared to audiences of different ages to help establish the popularity of clothing styles for each age group
(preschoolers with Sesame Street, and teenagers with Gossip Girl) Size Categories Like adult clothing, children’s, tween’s, and teen’s apparel is divided into categories based on price, size, and type of product:
Price – budget, moderate, better-priced and designer
Size – seven basic sizes
Type of product - knits, dresses, sportswear Size Ranges The industry debates whether the traditional size categories really reflect a child's age and maturity.
Across the country manufacturers and retailers are beginning to re-image their size standards.
Although the actual size range is the same the preteen sizes, and young men (prep,student, teen) sizes stress a more sophisticated look than boys and girls sizes. The Obesity Problem According to the american obesity association, about 30 % of children ages 6-11 are over-weight and 15.5 percent are obese.
Studies show that the number of children considered over-weight has tripled since 1980.
Some retailers and vendors do offer plus-size clothing selections, but the availability of attractive and flattering plus size clothing is scarce. Special Features of Infants and Toddlers Wear Clothing in infant and toddler wear is designed to make it easy and wearable at a young age, but also easy for parents.
pants are available with snaps along the inseams to make diaper changing easier.
undershirts have snaps on the front so they don't need to be fussed over a child's head.
elasticized waistbands are used, rather than buttons and zippers to make it easier for adults to change their kids, and for toddlers learning to dress.
"footsie" pajamas and snowsuits are made to offer extra warmth to children. Product Specialization Children's wear producers will typically specializes in one product.
Unlike adult wear, children clothing manufacturers will produce one single item in many sizes.
The same production methods used in adult wear are used when manufacturing children's wear although they are simplified, and more costly due to the amount of labor put in. Fabrics The use of fabric in children's wear is a very well thought out process.
Knits are very popular in infant wear and in the everyday wardrobe of boys and girls.
There is also a demand for the use of natural fibers, such as cotton.
The Flammable Fabric Act of 1972 was passed saying in that it is required that sleepwear for children should be treated with flame retardant finished. Merchandising and Management Many of the features of the children’s wear industry are very similar to that of the men’s and women’s wear industry.
The trend of sustainable fashion is seen in children’s wear as well as men’s and women’s wear.
Trade publications that report on adult fashions also carry children’s wear advertising. These include: WWD, and the DNR.
However, the advertising and sales promotion for this industry is limited.
The industry limits its advertising to the trade press.
Trade publications that report on adult fashions also carry children’s wear advertising. These include: WWD and DNR Market Centers Most of the Children’s Wear Firms are located in New York City.
But many goods are also produced in foreign countries.
Far East: outerwear, jeans, woven shirts, and sweaters.
Greece, Spain, and Israel: infants’ knits and apparel items.
Los Angeles has also emerged children’s apparel center. Trade Shows Trade shows is an exhibition organized so that the largest and most influential network of buyers, brands, media and decision makers in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their products.

MAGIC kids International shows for men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and accessories. This event that is held twice a year in Las Vegas is where the international community of fashion professionals trade information, preview trends, builds business, etc.

Other trade shows include:
Children’s Club trade show in NYC.
Women’s and Children’s apparel market in Chicago. Designer Labels Designer labels in stores for children’s wear are geared toward people with middle and high income.
Designer labels made for kids have been around for a while but it didn’t seem to take off until IZOD introduced a boys’ line in the late 1960’s.
Designer labels for kids rocketed in the late 1970’s when everyone wanted designer jeans.
A survey conducted in 2001 showed that parents sacrificed their own wardrobe to buy their kids brand-name clothing even when the economy was slow. Licensing As the children’s wear industry started to become more “fashion conscience” manufacturers were quick to produce licensed goods.
In addition to designer names, the cartoon and toy character licenses along with sport and corporate license share the spotlight in children’s wear.

Character Licensing: Young children enjoy wearing representations of their favorite characters from movies, TV shows, etc. Sport Licensing: Sports figures and teams both have a huge impact on media and therefore have a big impact on children and young adults. The Role of Fashion The demand for stylish children's clothing has escalated to the point to where there is now designer clothing for children.
Leading designers of adult fashion have developed lines of children’s apparel
However, the children's apparel industry is viewed as "fashionable" not a "fashion business"
Producers of children's clothing have one line per season.
They are not innovative, nor does new fashion start here
The children industry is getting closer and closer to where the adult apparel industry is today. Collaborations Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal.

Diane von Furstenberg recently collaborated with Gap.. As Furstenberg explains:
"I wanted to go to the core of what the brand is...and make fun prints and things that little girls would like." It's a goal she's achieved: the designs are fun, bright, bold, and fashion-forward. Oililys "Heart for Art" Collection "Children can do this too", is an often heard sentiment about naive art. Whether this is true or not, Oilily would like to see children all over the world creating art. Even if it is just to stimulate their creativity. Oilily’s new ‘Heart for Art’ winter collection is an ode to the visual arts. Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate."- Anonymous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn47vKBqLUo School uniforms are becoming increasingly popular and enforced through out many schools.
Supporters of uniforms say they avoid inappropriate dressing, promote safety, and promote equality amongst all students.
Over the years uniforms have become more updated, and students can shop for uniforms at stores such as Land’s End, Old Navy, Target and Wal-Mart.
Stores such as JCPenney and IZOD are teaming up to supply uniforms. School Uniforms Resale Outlets allow parents on a budget to sell their children’s out grown clothing and be immediately compensated.
Because infants and toddlers outgrow clothing so quickly, many parent’s are taking advantage of the clothing resale option.
The Children’s Orchard is a resale outlet that generates over $20 million a year in sales, with more than 100 locations.
One incentive offered is allowing customers to bring in used clothing in return for store credit.
Resale Outlets also exist on line and have become very popular. Resale Outlets Retailers are putting more focus on growing their children’s wear market.
Stores such as Gap (Baby Gap & Gap Kids), Benetton (Benetton 0-12), and Laura Ashley (Mother and Child) have found success in opening separate stores dedicated to children’s wear.
Catalog retailers such as Land’s End, Talbots, L.L.Bean, and Delia’s are increasing their children’s apparel offerings. Specialty Retail Outlets Industry Trends Children’s wear producers are constantly looking for ways to increase productivity while minimizing cost but maintaining quality.
Computerized operations have become popular because it helps producers respond more rapidly to the changing trends.
Suppliers, Manufacturers, and retailers are also interacting on the Internet.
Production costs are continually rising forcing most children’s wear to be produced in foreign labor cheap countries. Inflation has driven out the difference between budget, moderate, and better-priced children’s wear.
In the 1970s, many moderate priced producers of children wear began to make changes to their lines and focus on making more trendier up to date apparel.
By changing the focus, moderate priced producers were able to move closer to the better priced category. Price Lines Off Shore Production Children’s wear imports have become increasingly popular because of the low cost and fair quality.
However, there are drawbacks, such as early commitment is required, as much as 8-9 months lead time.
Retailers still favor buying imports, and even have been ordering them to their specifications. By: Gabrielle Alvarez, Rebecca Greenspan,Emily Mercer, and Marissa Yahney http://blog.teacollection.com/images/history-of-childrens-clothing.jpg Bibliography Stone, Elaine. "The Dynamics of Fashion / Edition 3 by Elaine Stone." Barnes & Noble. Fairchild Books, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. <http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Dynamics-of-Fashion/Elaine-Stone/e/9781563676864>. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn47vKBqLUo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAepoeXY67c.
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