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."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Specialist - Document Management

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading provider of document ...

    Recruitment Genius: Legal Secretary

    £17000 - £17800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to work ...

    Recruitment Genius: Ad Ops Manager - Up to £55K + great benefits

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a digital speci...

    The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent