GIRLS AND BOYS: A new trend is emerging in the design and marketing of children’s clothing collections. John Lewis is leading the way in the U.K., having said that it is scrapping the use of “girls” and “boys” signs in the children’s clothing departments of its stores, opting instead for a totally gender-neutral policy.
The children’s clothes on sale at the department store will have labels that read “Girls & Boys” or “Boys & Girls,” cementing the company’s new, liberal attitude: “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear,” said Caroline Bettis, head of children’s wear. The changes only apply to clothes marketed up to the age of 14. The high street retailer does not plan to roll out the same policy to its other departments, which gave rise to criticism in British media.
In addition, Belstaff revealed the launch of its first unisex children’s wear collection. While John Lewis has approached the concept by producing essentially the same range of clothes and re-labeling them with the “Boys & Girls” epithet, Belstaff has designed a pragmatic collection of gender-neutral pieces that do not pertain to any particular stereotypes: jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies and T-shirts.
“It was great fun working on this first kids collection. Being a first-time mother I know the importance of having practical but fun clothing for kids and considered this throughout the design,” said Delphine Ninous, creative director at Belstaff. Prices range from $50 for T-shirts to $450 for a scaled-down version of the signature Roadmaster jacket. The collection is available for purchase online and in Belstaff stores worldwide.