These adorable pint-sized hipsters represent the most lucrative new market in fashion

Image: Hypekids
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Everything is cuter when shrunken to tiny proportions, and that includes streetwear.

The new kids’ site from the successful streetwear portal Hypebeast—and its Instagram account full of adorable children wearing everything hot in that space—is proof enough. The site, Hypekids, which launched on July 17, aims to be a destination for “fashion-conscious parents and minis,” the company says. It’s Hypebeast’s latest venture in its quickly growing streetwear empire, but it’s also further evidence that brands are seeing a major market opportunity in high-end childrenswear, which is growing faster than both womenswear and menswear.

The last few years have seen an influx (paywall) of brands and retailers jumping on the bandwagon for kids’ clothing that looks basically like adult fashion, just miniaturized. The prices aren’t far off from the adult versions either. At Dolce & Gabbana, you can buy a floral-print brocade coat for your little one that will cost you $1,195. Gucci offers micro appliquéd satin loafers for $310 that you could pair with, say, a toddler-sized Burberry trench for about $665.

It’s a savvy investment for Hypebeast. In a recent report, the market research firm Euromonitor singled out the dynamic growth of childrenswear as one of five major trends shaping the global apparel industry. “Childrenswear continues to outshine both menswear and womenswear, benefiting from a mixture of macroeconomic and social trends,” it said. “The rising middle class in emerging markets, coupled with fashion’s infiltration into the category is driving increased per capita expenditure.” In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, the market is poised to expand quickly, adding about $19 billion in sales in the region by 2021, according to Euromonitor’s projection.

Hypebeast is well-placed to capitalize on this trend with Hypekids. The company is one of the premiere outlets for news and trends in streetwear, which has emerged a significant force in fashion over the past several years, and it’s a retailer itself with its ecommerce platform, HBX. The company noted in a statement that is has seen “increasing demand from fashion-conscious parents and families to purchase and hunt children’s products and brands.”

Hypekids will focus on editorial content that “showcases children’s styling with the latest trends in streetwear, footwear, toys, and much more,” the company says. At the same time, HBX will add more (paywall) children’s items.

The launch is being sponsored by Footlocker Kids, and includes a series of sneaker unboxing videos of the sort geared toward children that are popular on YouTube. Right now, articles on the site include one about a limited collection of plush toys from Balenciaga—yes, that Balenciaga—and lots on footwear drops.

And of course there’s also the Hypekids Instagram feed, full of small children who looker cooler than many adults. Streetwear also has the benefit of including items such as track pants, sweatshirts, and other comfy materials, which is ideal since picky kids want clothes that stretch these days. They may dress like grown-ups, but they also need to be dressed to run, climb, and nap.