Celebrated Barbadian singer and billionaire entrepreneur Rihanna spoke to British Vogue in February this year about dressing her young son, one-year-old Rza.
The fashion mogul said: “I like to dress him in things that do not look like baby clothes. I like to push it. I put him in floral stuff. I put him in hot pink. I love that. I think that fluidity in fashion is best. I always shop in the men’s department, you know.”
The magazine reported that Rihanna often gets her son’s clothes made, with the superstar adding: “When you come up with something in your head, half the time it is not available because children’s clothes are so” – she sighs deeply – “they are so boring. I am like, ‘This is what you all been doing to these people’s children all along?’”
It was then that the 35-year-old artiste spoke about her desire to launch a children’s clothing line in future, saying that “the kids need it” and that “they deserve to be cool.” There had been reports that she had trademarked the brand name “Fenty Kids” in January, and this is bound to shake up the luxury baby brand industry, given that everything the Umbrella singer touches turns to gold.
Baby clothes are big business, raking in up to US$43 billion (Sh6.2 trillion) worldwide as of this year. The market is expected to grow annually by 2.23 per cent. Marketing research firm Statista reports that key brands sharing the market include UNIQLO, Zara, Balabala, Carter’s, Fila, H&M, Hanes, Levis and Next.
Popular personalities are always looking to up their game when it comes to fashion, lifestyle and now, even parenting. We have seen Kenyan socialites like Vera Sidika cause a stir when they reveal just how much they are willing to splurge on their babies. In March 2022, video vixen turned reality TV star made headlines after claiming to have bought her one-year-old baby girl, Princess Asia, a bed worth hundreds of thousands of shillings.
“I can’t wait to unveil Asia’s nursery. At six months. So magical. Damn. Girl be sleeping on a bed worth Sh300,000 from the UK. How I wish I had this life as a newborn. Kweli it is true, we work hard to give our children what we never had. Aki God bless all mothers doing the best for the babies,” Vera wrote on her Instagram stories at the time.
As the adorable little girl turned one later that year, the socialite gushed about baby Asia’s princess-style birthday dress, which she said cost over Sh30,000.
“I wanted it to be a proper children’s birthday party. It was not about us adults, but putting smiles on the beautiful children,” she wrote, adding, “Many of you all asking about her dress. We imported Asia’s birthday dress from Florida, US... It was about $250 (Sh36,000).”
With her zeal for acquiring luxury baby products for her young ones, it comes as no surprise that the mum of two has said she is opening up a baby product line called Asia Brown Baby Care. At Asia’s six-month mark birthday party, the socialite revealed she would be launching the business for her daughter to set her up for financial success in the future.
“Asia is my boss and I am only working for her until she is of age. Then she can run the company on her own. As of now, we involve her in every little thing regarding her business. So she grows up knowing how things are done. She is always around when there is activity concerning asiabrownbaby care,” Vera wrote.
She added: “I cannot wait for her to start talking so she can personally do videos on how to use her products.”
A list of notable baby brands in Kenya posted on a local blog includes Baby Banda, Huggies Kenya, Interconsumer Products Limited, Baby Mama Kenya, Mother and Baby Shop, and Johnson & Johnson Ltd.
When it comes to luxury, specifically, The Guardian writes that a focus on sustainability kidswear is “the fashion industry’s” growth sector.
“Luxury fashion houses are not letting this moment slide away – in 2021, for instance, hyper-aspirational brand The Row, run by the Olsen twins where prices for a jumper are routinely in four figures, launched its first children’s collection (two to eight-year-olds), ditching their unwavering palette of camels and ecru for bright blue, orange and pink cashmere items that could be yours for a maximum of $800 (Sh115,000).”
It adds: “Playgrounds are full of children wearing intimidatingly on-trend outfits thanks to a pram-load of brands that cater to the fashion-forward sprog (or, realistically, the parent dressing them). These include UK brands such as The Bonnie Mob, Another Fox and Organic Zoo. But many are imports, such as Spanish brands Bobo Choses, Tiny Cottons and The Animals Observatory.”
Even though Kenyan fashion entrepreneurs are yet to dive into the industry as much as their international counterparts, Kenyan celeb children have proven to be stylish and influential, especially with the brand deals secure.
Eve magazine reported in March: “In 2017, Diamond Platnumz revealed that his daughter Princess Tiffah was earning up to Sh1 million for advertising gigs - and that was when she was only one and a half year old.”
“The young girl, who is the apple of her father’s eye, garnered over a million followers on Instagram just days after her birth in 2015. She is reportedly signed to various top baby wear brands in Tanzania and a wide list of advertisements.”
Famous children are born influential, and how much their parents are willing to spend on them continues to break boundaries and set new trends in the baby product market.