Professional Insider/Trend Spotting
Infants the new must-have accessory
Theyve always been small, cute and usually pretty good smelling, but recently babies have become fashionable. Last summer, Fendis baguette bag was the thing to have hanging off your arm. This year, its your own little bundle of DNA. Fortunately for the prenatal set, not to mention sheer logic, pregnancys also hot.
Its not a new phenomenon trace baby chic back to Demi Moores nude pregnant portrait on the cover of Vanity Fair in the 90s. But the baby wave has gained momentum. A one-hour special on NBC in May looked at star moms and their kids. The interest in breeding has spawned merchandise aimed at a wide rage of parental ages, which include a boomlet from the tail-end of the prosperous Baby Boomers who waited to procreate until after they had their stock portfolios in order as well as Generation X, now in their late-20s and early 30s. Members of Generation Y, who cleave to tradition, marry early and seem to be starting families early as well.
Before the Big Day
Working backward, The Gap begat GapKids, which begat BabyGap and now Gap Maternity. Though theres no bricks-and-mortar operation for maternity wear, Gaps Web site has a full range of merchandise to clothe the Moms-to-be with casual style.
Discover Card sells itself to new parents in an ad with a crib mobile being adjusted by a very-close-to-her-due-date woman. Perhaps that credit card will be used on the $268 Baby Jogger offered by L.L. Bean or Martha Stewarts collection of affordable baby gear at Kmart. The bright red Burberry pram retails for more than $4,000, so the platinum card probably will get used for that.
Beyond the Usual
Yes, charm bracelets are a no-brainer for new Moms and Grandmoms. Aaron Basha Baby Shoes are a longtime favorite. Now with the merchandise wave accompanying pregnancy and babies, think of additional opportunities. Instead of positioning the three-diamond band as strictly an anniversary band, suggest it to the new Dad as a perfect way to symbolize him, his wife and their baby. Perhaps hed like to buy himself a fine watch to celebrate, with plans to pass it on as an heirloom to a son or daughter.
by Liz Smutko