For Italian kidswear brand Gusella, operated under Hong Kong firm Dragon Crowd Enterprise, a typical customer will be a wealthy mother in Beijing.
It’s not uncommon for a patron to Gusella’s retail shop in the Chinese capital to pay up to 2,000 yuan (US$290) for a pair of leather shoes suitable for a toddler, even though they may be outgrown in just three months.
“They don’t mind spending,” said Caroline York, executive director of Gusella. “They just want what is good for their children. They want the best.”
Thanks to rising household incomes, young parents in China are spending more on their children’s shirts, dresses and shoes, making kidswear one of the fastest growing segments in the country’s consumer sector.
Fashion labels and retailers are trying to catch up by increasing their retail offerings of high-end children’s wear.
In addition to stores in Hong Kong and Milan, Italy, Gusella has four outlets in Beijing and one in Hangzhou. This year, the brand plans to open another shop in Nanjing, as part of a plan to boost its annual sales in China by 40 per cent to about 15 million yuan.
York said premium adult brands have enjoyed great success in China, and she is confident consumers would be as demanding and generous when it comes to premium footwear for children.