Celebrity mother knows best (or how to dress your baby)

They may be style icons, but as Myleene Klass becomes the latest famous-mum-turned-designer, should they be telling us how to clothe our children? By Susie Mesure

Never mind that celebrity mums (or dads) rarely make the best role models – think Britney Spears, Kerry Katona or even Kate Moss – superstars from the pop, fashion and movie worlds have decided that they know best when it comes to dressing your newborn child. Not content at dabbling with perfumes, party frocks or even bed linen, celebrities now believe that the humble babygro is somewhat lacking when it comes to showbiz buzz.

Retail experts predict a rash of copycat collaborations after the first items from Myleene Klass's new range for Mothercare hit the baby specialist's stores this summer. The pop-star-turned-bikini-model, who recently joined the new mums' club, has lent her name – and design input – to a collection that Mothercare hopes will boost its share of the UK's £1.4bn babywear market. Baby K, which is Klass's first step down the celebrity-endorsed clothing road, will feature clothing and accessories for newborns to three-year-olds.

Klass, who approached Mothercare about the project when she was three months pregnant, told The Independent on Sunday: "I want to provide a range that's practical as well as beautiful .... I've been extremely hands on [with the design process]. I brought in samples, sketched ideas and explained the concerns I have from embroidery rubbing to buttons, washing, quality, safety and practicality – trying to button something in the middle of the night can prove a test in itself! I even brought one of my own dresses in as inspiration to be reduced to one-20th the size."

Mothercare is jumping on board the celebrity bandwagon for the first time as it battles intense competition in the fastest-growing area of the childrenswear market. Babywear sales soared by 30 per cent between 2005 and 2007 with the growing contingent of older mums spending more on dressing their new arrivals. Fashion chains such as Primark, specialist retailers like Mamas & Papas, the big grocers and even luxury brands from Marc Jacobs to 3.1 Phillip Lim are all rolling out new babywear collections.

Vivianne Ihekweazu, senior consumer analyst at Mintel, said: "People like to emulate celebrities' styles and how they dress their children. Given that there seems to be a celebrity baby boom this year, celebrities are definitely a potential new force in this [the babywear] market."

So far, just a handful of famous mums have launched children's collections. Madonna followed her debut as a children's book author last autumn with a clothing range called English Roses; Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers label has a baby line; and the supermodel Stella Tennant has had a range called Tennant & Sons. Celebrity dad designers are somewhat rarer, although Bon Jovi's drummer Tico Torres has his own baby products company called Rock Star Baby, and Martin Sheen is an investor in the childrenswear company Jackson Clay, which has links to his family.

But celebrities are queuing up to get in on the act, according to the babywear chain Mamas & Papas. "We get offers from celebrities all the time but have declined them all so far because we can't see what a celebrity, even someone who is already a well-known designer, could bring to our brand. When celebrities design clothing lines it's normally about reflecting their style, which is difficult to do with their babies. The benefit to the customer isn't apparent," a company spokesman said.

Other high-street chains are keener. New Look, which launched Lily Allen as a designer, said it would "love to do something" with the right celebrity. And Topshop also said it might consider expanding its "Topshop mini" collection with a designer-inspired line.

Not all baby pundits are convinced about the merits of this new wave of designers. Stephanie Neuman, editorial director of Babyworld, a website for mums, said: "Celebrity collections will have a novelty factor and could be popular at baby showers. But I don't think that just because Myleene has had a baby she suddenly knows how to design baby clothes."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Installation Manager

    £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

    Tax Investigations Manager/Senior Manager

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Cameron Kennedy Recruitment: This rapidl...

    Scrum Master - Southampton, Hampshire - Excellent Package

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited:...

    Senior Scrum Master - Hampshire - £47k

    £47000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Key skil...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice