THE rise of designer-clad mini celebrities such as Harper Beckham and Suri Cruise has sparked a new trend in personal shopping for children.
Designer brands such as Dior, Gucci and Uggs now produce junior versions of fashion items which can retail for hundreds of pounds.
Now fashion-conscious parents have started booking appointments with stylists at department stores to ensure their offspring are well dressed and trendy at all times.
Anne Deegan, head of personal shopping services at Debenhams, said: “The number of personal shopping appointments for children over the last year has doubled. Busy mums don’t always have time to keep up with the latest fashion trends, so our style experts make it easy for kids to look cool without breaking the bank.
“There has been increasing demand for affordable kids’ clothing with a designer label, so much so that over half of all children’s clothing sold at Debenhams is from our designer collections.”
The store reports that 61 per cent of people who make appointments are looking for designer outfits. And it seems that parents are keen to make sure their children have the best advice about how to be on trend.
Parents will often book their children in for a personal shopping appointment when buying an outfit for an important occasion like a school prom.
At Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh, press and marketing manager Gemma Hare said there was no doubt parents were more interested in dressing children in designer clothes than ever before.
“I think seeing pictures of Suri Cruise and Harper Beckham in fashion magazines have made parents more aware of designer labels for children.
Ms Hare, who has a two-year-old daughter of her own, says: “Victoria Beckham has very good taste and I love the way she dresses Harper. It is a very traditional look, very European with good-quality, well-made clothes.
“And not everything is designer. I like the way she also mixes fashion labels with Baby Zara – which does very good copies of designer labels.”
Among the brands on sale at Harvey Nichols’ Edinburgh store are Baby Gucci, Baby Dior, Mini Uggs, Young Versace and Junior Jean Paul Gaultier.
Ms Hare said: “When I was growing up, my parents wouldn’t have put me in designer labels – but they are a lot more available these days.
“I think celebrity culture definitely plays a big part in it. Lots of designers are creating mini-me labels and lots of people who are fashionistas like to see their sons and their daughters wearing the same kind of clothes they do.”
At Harvey Nichols, Baby Uggs, which cost around £50 a pair, are one of the most popular buys for mini-shoppers.
Mini Moncler jackets, which cost £380, and are “the ultimate puffa jacket”, are also popular.