Clothing Design for Fashion Forward Tots


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by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

September 18, 2006


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Did you ever dream that fashion school could lead to a career in fashion creating children's clothing? It may be a hotter job than you think. Today's tweens and their younger peers are becoming increasingly particular about clothing design, ditching cartoon-themed smocks and overalls for a more grown-up look.

Kids used to wear whatever their mothers dressed them in. They'd proudly parade around in super hero-themed tanks or pairs of brightly-colored Hello Kitty sandals. Today, however, you're more likely to find kids wearing something that could be worn by a teenager or college student, according to New York Times fashion writer Ruth La Ferla.

Clothing Design for Kids
La Ferla reports that luxury and mainstream apparel companies like DKNY, Burberry, and J. Crew, among others, have introduced apparel lines for children. J. Crew, for example, features pint-sized versions of what seem to be very nearly the same sweaters, skirts, jeans, and boots that are sold to adults. An ad for Paul Frank clothing for kids, recently featured in Dwell magazine, pictured two shaggy-haired toddlers sporting some kind of very androgynous indie-rock-skater look.

Style first came to mass markets when designers like Isaac Mizrahi began offering chic-for-cheap styles at Target and Martha Stewart brought her brand of domestic fashion to K-Mart. Perhaps the fashion consciousness of America is finally trickling down to the tiniest consumers?

Fashion School: Training for Your Career in Kid's Fashion
For better or worse, it appears that clothing design for kids is here to stay. This means that fashion schools may start addressing aspects of clothing design that are particular to children. As you prepare for a career in fashion, you'll need to be experienced in designing clothes for all consumers--even those under two feet tall.

To find out if a fashion school offers instruction on clothing design for children, take a look at their course catalogue. Of course, fashion for kids is not nearly as sophisticated as fashion for grown-ups--with a good grasp of the principles of fashion design and construction, you should be able to design clothes for a poodle, never mind a tot.

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About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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