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What Do You Think About Global Kids Fashion Week?

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published March 9th 2013

London Fashion Week has been an annual event for almost the last thirty years. The show features over a hundred top name designers, and promotes the fashion industry on a big scale. Now though, for the first time, this year is featuring Global Kids Fashion Week. The event which takes place between the 18th - 20th March is a show that aims to add some extra hype to children's wear. Just like London Fashion Week, this kiddy version will be holding fashion shows and activities for 'stylish parents and children'.

But my question is, should we really have a show like this? If adults want to spend money on expensive brands, then that is their prerogative, but is it right to be encouraging kids to search out for big name labels?

In this economic climate we should be teaching them the value of money. A £115 Burberry crew neck sweater might look trendy, but it is not going to keep them any warmer than a jumper from Primark. At the rate that children grow, is it sensible to be spending so much on an outfit that won't fit them in a few months time? If we blasť about how much we spend, it is not setting a good example, and could lead them to reckless spending. Even worse, if we indulge kids with premium fashions, could we turn them into spoilt brats?

The rich/poor divide is growing ever wider, and to suggest to kids that this shirt is better than that shirt because it was made by Nike rather than George, is just asking for trouble. There are already big problems with bullying, and children can be picked on just for the types of clothes they wear. I remember when I was at school, a girl made fun of my sports trainers just because they did not have a logo on them. A lot of families cannot afford to buy designer clothes, and when well-off children start teasing kids who don't have expensive brands, it is a very ugly thing indeed.

There is also issue of kids growing up too soon. The biggest concern in a child's life should be whether to play on the swings or the see-saw; they should not be thinking about what make-up they should be wearing. They shouldn't be wearing any. It upsets me when I see television programmes that document pushy parents entering their kids into beauty contests, and dressing them up as if they were a doll. Isn't introducing kids to all this glamour just one step away from that?

Global Kids Fashion Week is mostly a private event for retailers, so I suppose it is not as bad as all that, but there is a public event on the 20th May at the Freemason's Hall. The doors open at 4.30pm, and includes a fashion show with kids on the catwalk. Do you think it is right to put kids up on display like this? After the show there will be other entertainment including performances, a photo booth, auction, manicures. Tickets are between £16.50-£105; profits go towards the Kids Company Charity, so I suppose something good will come out of the event, but I'm still not sure about it. Perhaps I'm wrong, and just blowing things out of proportion, but I am interested to hear your opinions.
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