Why Kidcore is the latest fashion obsession

They say good things come in small packages, but what if the packaging itself shrunk to miniature proportions? I look at a small Fendi Nano Baguette with lavender sequins, the thing that might have been intended for Alice in Wonderland after she sipped from that suspicious bottle. This item, which has more in common with a table decoration than a functional mesh, would hardly fit a hairbrush; a cell phone would be a dwarf.

If you think this adorable purse is a one-off, you’re wrong. This season, it’s joined by a host of cool mini handbags, from the Gucci Horsebit tote to the Bottega Veneta Cassette cross-body to the Jacquemus pastel Le Chiquito mini clutch. Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Delvaux are among the many others who have jumped on the bandwagon, reissuing their classics in sizes that would fit a preschooler’s paw.

To what do we owe this surprising trend, just when we feel so powerful, so indomitable, so ready to slay giants? I can modestly say that I am the perfect person to deconstruct this phenomenon. Isn’t my Instagram handle @babylynnieland? Haven’t I looked longingly in the windows of Bonpoint and Jacadi, wishing those sleek Liberty of London dresses, those pastel tweed coats with velvet collars, those ruby ​​Mary Janes, were available in my size? I admit, I’m that rare adult who gleefully buys her accessories from Gucci’s baby department. And I’m not alone in my tendency to turn the clocks far, far, far back. No less a fashion eminence than Miuccia Prada once had an exclusive children’s clothing tailor in Milan make several dresses and coats for her.

gucci twinsburg runway milan fashion week spring summer 2023

Gremlinsa popular children’s film from the 80s, was a constant motif in Gucci.

Daniele Venturelli//Getty Images

The apparent desire to be a baby in Toyland has extended its tentacles far beyond the handbag realm. It may have emerged as a response to pandemic-induced boredom, but companies as diverse as Lego and Build-a-Bear have introduced merchandise aimed at adult customers. Even that bastion of pre-teen birthday parties, the restaurant at Mattel’s American Girl store, now serves wine. The cohort known in the retail industry as “kids” bought 24 percent of all toys between June 2021 and June 2022, about two-thirds of dollar growth in the sector, according to research firm NPD.

Fashion houses even gave the trend a name: kidcore. Consider London-based designer Molly Goddard. I’ve been happily strutting around in her tulle tutu, but even I’m a little hesitant to wear her Twinky T-shirt emblazoned with a winged pony and his furry friends. Comme des Garçons recently offered a voluminous Mickey Mouse print skirt topped with a sheer polyester skirt (how could you not drool over it?). Valentine’s Fall/Winter 2022-2023 collection. was a tribute to neon pink. Go ahead, ask any five-year-old what her favorite color is. Then ask her if she’s going to see revisionist Greta Gerwig Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie this summer.

celebrity sightings in los angeles on June 28, 2022

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film Barbie.

MEGA//Getty Images

Thom Browne Hector leather baguette shoulder bag

    Hector leather baguette shoulder bag

Thom Browne Hector leather baguette shoulder bag

A Thom Browne show last spring had an audience of 400 teddy bears occupying the best seats. Jeweler Jean Prounis sometimes shows his creations in a dollhouse made by artist and miniaturist Carmen Mazarrasa. (At a recent press event, I spent happy hour drinking champagne — something adults have to do! — and making up stories about the various gems that inhabit the house.)

Perhaps these goofy ghosts owe their popularity to the fantasy that you’re so well-groomed that you have a limousine packed with your belongings at all times, or that your humble valet is forever hiding in the shadows carrying your phone and other big-girl demands.

Perhaps they evoke tragic memories of those peaceful days before the real world came – no work! No school! You have nothing to do but play all day! Or maybe the explanation is simpler. Like puppies, kittens, and human babies, miniature iterations of the adult original are just ridiculously cute.

So go ahead, dangle the Lilliputian Kelly bag from your eager fingers. Soon you’ll have to venture out into the cold, cruel world lugging a huge bag full of all those nasty things little kids don’t need to worry about: running shoes! Disinfectant for hands! Moisturizing cream and mascara! Your iPad! Your iPhone! Who can blame you if, for a hot minute, you enjoy a tiny tiny version of your best self?

Top image: From left: Thom Browne Hector Baguette (2200 USD), Chanel evening bag ($8,600) and Necklace ($2,975), 800-550-0005. Gucci Teddy Bear Minaudiere ($49,000).

This story appears in the February 2023 issue of the magazine City and country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

Head shot of Lynn Yaeger

Lynn Yaeger writes about fashion and design and writes regularly for The New York Times, The New Yorker and Vogue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *