Pret-a-Reporter

The Latest Trend for Back-to-School: Designer Labels

Courtesy of Instagram/saintrecords
Blue Ivy wears Gucci

Balmain and Gucci are hot for kids, too.

For some tots, the essential back-to-school checklist includes not just pencils and notebooks, but also $860 Gucci backpacks and $3,645 Balmain shearling coats. And let’s not forget an outfit for picture day, for which only a $315 Dolce & Gabbana dress will do.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent more than $68 billion for back-to-school season last year, and that number is expected to spike to $75.8 billion in 2016. That might seem steep at first — that is, until you consider the price tags on some of this stuff.
 
Thanks to the proliferation of pint-size designer fashion lines, prep school hallways have evolved into mini catwalks for the privileged tween set. And the kiddie designer sphere keeps getting more crowded, with Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld and Kate Spade among the handful of designer labels to have recently launched children's wear, joining the likes of Armani, Chloe, Kenzo, Oscar de la Renta and Stella McCartney, who have been outfitting tots for years.

 
This spring, the trendy kids "concept store" Bon Ton opened its first outpost stateside, on the tony Melrose Place shopping stretch near the Isabel Marant, Marni and Marc Jacobs stores. (The boutique is called Bon Bon in the U.S.)

There are no better models for these mini-me collections than highly photographed celeb spawn of the North West, Blue Ivy Carter or Apple Martin variety. After all, it was the impeccably dressed North West who served as inspiration for Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain childrenswear.

In addition to the designer duds, cool kids are picking up Yeezy Boosts, Birkenstocks, Victoria's Secret backpacks and Steph Curry's divisive Under Armour kicks for their return to the classroom, according to recently released Google data

Check out some of the designer pieces below — because it's never too early to teach kids the difference between Balmain and Burberry. 

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