In the past couple of years, big-ticket designers like Gauri and Nainika, Gaurav Gupta, Malini Ram ani, Ritu Kumar and Namrata Joshipura have all entered the kidswear market, which was pegged at Rs 30,510 crore in 2008. It is now estimated at nearly Rs 34,000 crore and a large chunk of it is comprised of the unorganised retail sector. By 2013, the segment is expe cted to touch Rs 45,000 crore. With more than 30 percent of the country’s population below 15 years of age, and with an increase in nuclear families, kidswear is one of the biggest success stories of Indian retail.
The inaugural edition of IKFW was held in Mumbai from January 17-19. Over 150 children walked the ramp for designers like Rocky S, Nishka Lulla, Payal Singhal and Narendra Kumar who showed their wares along with mid-segment brands. A surprise entry was that of 13-yearold Pune-based desi g ner Prachi Badve. Prachi says she never gave in to the pressure to dress in pink frills and big bows. Her designs do have a distinct adult sensibility.
Manoj Mahla, director of Craftworld Events, the company behind IKFW, explains the need for such an event: “Fashion week brings retailers and buyers together. There is a lot of potential in this market, especially for designer wear.” Explaining the psychology behind the event, Mahla says, “If I go to a designer store to buy for myself, I will buy for my kids if I find the option, especially as buying for children is an emotional decision for parents.” Ma hla plans to make this a bi-annual event like the fashion weeks that follow the spring-summer and autumn-winter format. He says that in five years, India will be ready for a couture week for children as the demand will keep growing.