Michele Harriman-Smith, 66, is the CEO of Childrensalon, the luxury childrenswear retailer. The company was founded in 1952 by Michele’s mother, Sybil, as a single boutique in Kent. It is now an online empire with more than 300 staff and customers in more than 160 countries. Since 2012, sales have increased by more than 500%. Harriman-Smith lives with her husband, George, in Tunbridge Wells.
Given their pedigrees, it's no surprise that some of the pieces on the site require a champagne budget — $300 Golden Goose sneakers for tween boys, $98 cashmere briefs by bespoke kids' brand Flora and Henri designed to be fitted over a diaper, a $395 Missoni plush teddy bear — but a surprising majority are more accessible, with lesser-known independent brands spotlighted alongside familiar names.
Globally, the childrenswear market is outpacing both womenswear and menswear, growing 5 percent in current value terms in 2016 to $203.4 billion, according to Euromonitor. Designer childrenswear is only a small portion of the total industry at $5.89 billion, but the research house cites trends that suggest it could grow. For instance, parents today tend to have fewer children later in life, at a time when many have more disposable income, and fashion trends play an ever-greater role in influencing what — and how often — they purchase.

Bonpoint was founded in 1975 as a couture house for children, and although the brand now owns and operates more than 110 boutiques worldwide and sales are estimated at around €100 million, or around $114 million per year, it still maintains a Paris atelier and shows a couture collection (which, according to the FT, accounts for about 10 percent of sales) twice a year. Along with Baby Dior, which opened the doors to its first Paris boutique in 1967 — Princess Grace of Monaco cut the inaugural ribbon — the brand was a pioneer in the field, and with its exclusive focus on childrenswear, it has since developed a reputation for impeccable fit and attention to detail, eschewing trendiness in favor of timeless design. This, of course, doesn't come cheap: A smocked floral baby romper, for example, costs $235, while a leather varsity jacket in sizes up to 12 years will set you back $1,665 (Pukay, for one, says she tries to wait until pieces go on sale to shop).


Bonpoint was founded in 1975 as a couture house for children, and although the brand now owns and operates more than 110 boutiques worldwide and sales are estimated at around €100 million, or around $114 million per year, it still maintains a Paris atelier and shows a couture collection (which, according to the FT, accounts for about 10 percent of sales) twice a year. Along with Baby Dior, which opened the doors to its first Paris boutique in 1967 — Princess Grace of Monaco cut the inaugural ribbon — the brand was a pioneer in the field, and with its exclusive focus on childrenswear, it has since developed a reputation for impeccable fit and attention to detail, eschewing trendiness in favor of timeless design. This, of course, doesn't come cheap: A smocked floral baby romper, for example, costs $235, while a leather varsity jacket in sizes up to 12 years will set you back $1,665 (Pukay, for one, says she tries to wait until pieces go on sale to shop).
Leading the way are a coterie of precocious celebrity style stars: North West in her teensy custom Balmain jackets (a collection she started amassing long before the label officially launched childrenswear last June), $3,500 furs, and Vetements dresses; Blue Ivy Carter in her Gucci wardrobe, complete with party frocks, embroidered denim jackets, and logo handbags; Harper Beckham in her posh Chloé tops, Burberry coats and Ferragamo ballet flats; and the impeccably clad royal children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
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