Sunday, October 3, 2010

Skinny Jeans for Toddlers?!

Elizabeth Holmes’ recent article for The Wall Street Journal caught our eye for sure! The idea of shimmying into a pair of skinny jeans makes many women cringe. Now imagine squeezing them up over a diaper.

Ava Lane, a smiley two-year-old who lives in Deland, Fla., has four pairs of skinny jeans. She received the first pair as a gift, says mom Christina Lane, who thought they looked so cute she bought more. "Babies and toddlers have big bellies, and skinny jeans are not for people with big bellies," says Ms. Lane, a 29-year-old museum marketing director. "But they still work."
"It's more fun," says Ms. Lane of shopping for her daughter than shopping for herself. Most recently, Ms. Lane bought two pairs of skinny jeans from Gap Inc., the country's largest apparel retailer, which sells skinny jeans in sizes as small as zero to three months. The company says skinny styles now make up 40% of its jeans offering for infant and toddler girls and 70% for girls at the kids division.
"People tend to put their kids first," says Mark Breitbard, executive vice president of GapKids and babyGap. "They'll pass on something for themselves to make sure their kids are still looked after." The company doesn't segment sales within its lines, but Mr. Breitbard says the kids' division "has maintained its brand health in a much more consistent manner" than the adult division.
One factor behind the company's skinny-jeans-for-kids strategy: The popularity of adult-styled kids' clothes after the debut of its kids and baby collaboration with Stella McCartney last November. The mini-me mentality has trickled into Gap's other designs for kids and baby. On shelves now, shoppers will find motorcycle jackets and ankle boots. "People love trend take-downs," says Mr. Breitbard. "Fashion-right clothes are really adorable the smaller they get."
Gap tests all its products, including babyGap's Mini Skinny and GapKids Super Skinny, in a special "fit room," where designers observe the product on the body, in action, says Jennifer Giangualano, head of design for GapKids and babyGap. The retailer also solicits feedback from parents who are there watching their kids. "It doesn't matter how cute it is," she says. "If they can't crawl around and move, it doesn't get out of the fit room."

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