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Children's clothes have a different life cycle than their adult counterparts: they're played in, spilled on, stretched, occasionally spit up on and eventually grown out of. While all of the parents I talked to for this story say they shop mass retailers like Zara Kids and Target as well as designer brands, their main complaint was the quality. In some cases, they said, clothes would fall apart before their kids even got the chance to grow out of them. Better-made pieces, at least, can see a second life — whether as a hand-me-down to a younger sibling or a relative, a keepsake to hold onto, a donation or a resale item. Parents today have several options if they choose the latter, thanks to a slew of online designer resale and consignment stores, including Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal and My Kid's Threads.


For now, prospective sellers can be savvy about what they buy by keeping resale value in mind. "In the resale business, you'll see a higher return on these classic, timeless investment pieces that never go out of style, like a Burberry or Moncler jacket, or something super on-trend right now, like Gucci — everyone wants Gucci," says Locker. "We see completely what's happening in women's mirrored in children's."
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For parents who may not be able to afford the four- and five-figure price tags of Gucci's grown-up lines, the kids' offerings provide a somewhat more affordable way to take part in the trend by proxy. Childrenswear, says Maisonette's Mendoza, "is an entry price point for luxury. You may not buy a $10,000 Dolce and Gabbana dress for yourself, but you might buy a $200 Dolce and Gabbana dress for your child and have that same experience."
While a rep for Gucci declined to comment on sales of childrenswear specifically, the brand reported record sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2017, jumping 48.3 percent to €1.35 billion euros, or $1.44 billion. And if creative director Alessandro Michele manages to keep up the fervor among his adult customers, the children's category should be well-positioned to keep pace. "If mom is buying a lot of Gucci, chances are, the little one is going to be dressed in a lot of Gucci as well," reasons Patel.
Yelena Pukay, an Oregon-based personal shopper and mother of four, has amassed an Instagram following of more than 34,000 thanks to her snaps of her youngest daughter Jasmin's daily outfits (her other kids make appearances too, but the baby is the star of the feed). At nine months old, Jasmin's wardrobe includes a seemingly endless collection of cashmere cardigans and rompers, which Pukay buys mostly from Parisian brands like Oscar et Valentine and Bonpoint, a Moncler puffer bought on sale, and, along with her sisters, a Dolce and Gabbana swimsuit printed with banana leaves. Her signature accessory — if a baby can have such a thing — is a cashmere pom-pom hat, many versions of which are documented on her feed, and which Pukay says women constantly ask her about (many of Jasmin's are by British brand Mi Loves and retail for £26, or about $34).

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.

She and Ward Durrett have three children each and cite the frustrations of shopping for them as their inspiration for launching the platform. "The process of shopping for your young children is incredibly tedious," says Ward Durrett. "You have to go to a number of websites to get the things you need for your kids — you're at a shoe site, you're at another site for pants, you're at another site for a special occasion dress. It's a disaggregated market, and it's incredibly inefficient. And when you're a mom, you have the least amount of time in your life." The aim of Maisonette, then, is to be a one-stop shop for apparel, accessories, toys, decor and more, all aimed at a style-conscious consumer who values quality as much as they value convenience. The parent demographic is also a smart target for an e-commerce venture: According to a recent study by Big Commerce, parents spend 75 percent more time online shopping each week, and spend more of their budget online in comparison to non-parents.


While a rep for Gucci declined to comment on sales of childrenswear specifically, the brand reported record sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2017, jumping 48.3 percent to €1.35 billion euros, or $1.44 billion. And if creative director Alessandro Michele manages to keep up the fervor among his adult customers, the children's category should be well-positioned to keep pace. "If mom is buying a lot of Gucci, chances are, the little one is going to be dressed in a lot of Gucci as well," reasons Patel.
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