updated 4 Dec 2011, 11:33
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Kidswear is not child's play

WITH the purchasing power of India's middle class growing, consumer brands are doing good business. And one sector that is growing rapidly as a result is the Indian kids apparel market.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in a recent study projected that the kidswear market is expected to touch Rs80,000 crores by 2015 from the current Rs38,000 crores. The study notes that the industry is logging a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent.

The Press Trust of India reported that, according to the study titled Market Of Indian Kids Wear, with kids fashion percolating down to tier II and tier III cities in India, the branded kidswear market is growing fastest. Rising disposable incomes and increasing influence of foreign culture have led to children emerging as an independent buyer group, making them a more informed and self conscious segment, says the study.

Member of the faculty at Pearl Academy of Fashion in Jaipur Taruna Vasu agrees. She told Indo-Asian News Service (IANS): "The kidswear segment in India is touted to be the most promising segment in apparel. The good news for the branded children's wear segment is that though presently it is worth around Rs4,000 crores, it is growing at more than 25 per cent."

Several designers like Gauri and Nainika, Gaurav Gupta, Malini Ramani, Ritu Kumar, Namrata Joshipura, Sonya Vajifdar and Payal Singhal are among those who have already made forays into this sector.

Young designer Nishka Lulla, who has a special line for children aged one to 14, told The Times Of India: "Parents are often willing to loosen up their purse strings to make their kids look good and feel special. Birthdays and weddings in the family draw them to designerwear. Kids on the other hand are expressive about the colours, cuts they like. They often have a rockstar, film actor or cartoon character to draw inspiration from. So, making clothes for them is not only easy, it's also good fun."

Ms Singhal, who makes festive-wear for kids, told the same newspaper recently: "Festive-wear for children is usually kept simple but pretty enough to appeal to them. Comfort levels are always a priority for them and a guideline for designers."

When asked about the most popular style, designer Sonya Vajifdar told IANS: "Kids (girls) love frills and ruffles and glitter, but you need to know when to hold out on it. Frocks in vibrant colours like pinks, purples, blues and yellows with frills, ruffles, and playful cuts are making trends."

The Market of Indian Kids Wear study notes that brands such as Benetton, Pantaloon and Reebok have even roped in popular characters like Pucca, Ben10 and Power Rangers to lure their four-14 age-group customers. It adds that these brands are developing categories such as infant wear, kids' formal wear, kids' ethnic wear, swim- wear and casual wear, along with a wide range of other merchandise for children.

And, with the first India Kids Fashion Week to be held next January in Mumbai, international luxury brands like Lanvin, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Galliano, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli and Versace are also planning to tap the Indian market.

The kidswear segment in India is touted to be the most promising segment in apparel.

- Ms Taruna Vasu, faculty member at Pearl Academy of Fashion in Jaipur, on the rise of branded kidswear in India (below).

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