If you haven’t heard, Vogue is launching a kids quarterly magazine, Vogue Kids, and none other than fashion famous toddler North West is gracing the first cover.
April Fools! Ok, the jokes on us.
The satirical social commentary, perpetrated on the unsuspecting masses by Fashonista, is definitely an April Fools for the history books, but it also speaks to the problematic nature of our growing cultural obsession with children’s fashion and celebrities’ children. There was a day when little boys and girls frolicked about in hand-me-down overalls and hand-sewn frocks and we never heard about a famour person’s kid until they decided to break into the entertainment scene at 16. Those days are long behind us. The emerging trend is clear: children in adult-style fashion. As the NY Times so elegantly put it, we’ve entered into a “mini-me” craze in the children’s clothing market. The new motif surrounding childhood is that children should look, not just good, but stunning in designer gear. When did the point of childhood stop being to have fun and get dirty? Have we reverted back to 1800s Britain?
The mock cover asks and we are more than tempted to answer: how young is too young?
While I can’t say for certain how North West prefers to spend her time, I can argue from plenty of experience that I’ve never met a toddler who wanted to sit still for hours in a room bustling with excitement and high energy. Yet there she sits, sandwiched between her mother and Beyoncé during New York Fashion Week. You can’t see it in this Instagram shot (below), but Anna Wintour is there too, and she looked downright alarmed about being seated next to a crying baby. Doesn’t North look the picture of happiness?
Fashionista couldn’t have picked a better figure for their satirical Vogue cover. Baby North has a limelight history even at the tender age of not-quite-two, paparazzi photos of her are splattered across the internet, she’s had her first taste of New York Fashion Week up close and personal, she’s already made her modelling debut, has starred in a music video (Only One) with her dada and is constantly decked out in luxe designer outfits. Whether or not baby North is destined for the halls of Vogue fame, we can’t say, but it’s good to know the high calibre magazine hasn’t decided to endorse our commercialization of children just yet. Even if Vogue hasn’t yet gone down this road tons of luxury designers offer children’s lines, from Gucci and Burberry to Karl Lagerfeld’s kidswear collection slated to launch in 2016.
If children and youth have developed an interest in fashion with their volition, well that’s great, yes even if the kid is only two-years-old. However, the over-emphasis in our media on celebrity children, designer kidswear and even the fact that a Vogue Kids April Fools was warranted, speak to an adult-imposed experience, and that’s not good at all. Fashion should be an interest someone comes to in their own time, as a method of self-expression, through years of developing a unique personal style.
Let’s vote. How many people think North West picks out her outfits? Here’s a hint: my toddler picks out Thomas the Train pajama shorts, fuzzy winter sweaters in clashing colours and yellow rubber boots as a favorite outfit.
OMG!!!! Look what @olivier_rousteing sent North! Thank you @BalmainParis for these little custom jackets to match mommy!!! A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on