Tykes with 'tude

Tykes with 'tude

First came the Kate effect. Now, everything that the newly crowned trendsetter Prince George wears is flying off shelves. Babies these days got swag, and don't entrepreneurs here know it.

"Fashion is no longer exclusively adult's play. Increasingly, we are seeing the advent of pint-sized style icons sporting stylish outfits that are surprisingly grown up," says Mark Lee, chairman for homegrown fashion trade show Blueprint, which has just introduced a childrenswear offshoot.

"A new spotlight has been cast upon the wardrobes of celebrity kids such as of Aila Wang, Alonso Mateo, Suri Cruise, and the Beckhams."

Rather than crack the luxury childrenswear market, dominated by miniature lines from grown-up fashion houses, homegrown fashion upstarts are capitalising on trendy looks that would make junior a street style star, without the price tags of grown-up duds.

"Asia has the highest population growth rates yet there are few exceptional Asian childrenswear brands," observes Dylan Ong, who left his investment advisor position in Hong Kong to launch Le Petit Society with his wife Robyn Liang, a former fixed income trader.

"We import many well known kids labels from outside of Asia but these are usually expensive and yet produced here in Asia. We wanted to create stylish, comfortable and affordable kids clothing that are designed and produced in Asia."

As much as style-savvy parents covet a shearling jacket priced upwards of $1,000 from Burberry, most "Singaporean shoppers are mindful when it comes to purchasing kids' fashion, with many who let their children wear hand-me-downs as they would outgrow their clothes quickly," says Andrene Chan, whose handmade pieces under the label BabyPixie don't go for more than $50.

Finally, trend-conscious parents can turn to homegrown kiddy clothiers to style their little princes and princesses, even without the bank balance of a royal.

One homegrown brand that will be launched next month focuses not just on reasonable price points, but "sartorial streetwear" that hipster mums from Woodlands to Williamsburg would appreciate.

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