Can't wait to see the ads.
Calvin Klein will introduce CK Calvin Klein Kids Underwear. It is a follow-up to CK Calvin Klein Jeans Kids, which had a quiet debut this spring in stores.Both scorn and approbation were heaped upon Klein last summer for his CK Calvin Klein Jeans advertisements, which critics said bordered on child pornography. Approbation has come the way one would assume designers like it best - through sales. Stores have reported that CK Calvin Klein Jeans is one of the strongest sellers among youth.
Even in the younger children's-wear market, what adults think may be a moot point.
"The people that want to buy Calvin Klein weren't offended by those ads," said Tracy Mitchell, executive editor of Children's Business, a monthly trade magazine. "They want the Calvin Klein label. Also at the point the children are over 8, they're pretty much deciding what they want to wear."
Children's wear - despite a slowdown in sales the past two years - is an area of expansion for many designers who have already conquered women's wear or men's wear. Ralph Lauren has a strong children's business. So does Tommy Hilfiger, where sales of boys clothes increased from almost $32 million in March 1995 to $54 million in March 1996. Donna Karan has reintroduced DKNY Kids in Europe and hopes to have the collection in the United States.
Children's-wear lines from prestigious designers can piggyback on the advertising of their main collections.
"These lines do well because they're something different and they have the cachet that comes from the adult market," Mitchell said.
- Constance C.R. White