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Children call the shots in South Africa’s clothing segment

In South Africa children’s clothing is outperforming other lines like men’s wear and women’s wear. Even in a tough economic climate, parents are spending and there is an increased emphasis on value buying.

The advent of technology and rise of social media have also been huge contributors to this growth, specifically in the pre-teen category. Thanks to social platforms such as Instagram and technology such as smart phones, satellite TV and tablets, children now have immediate access to international trends. This has led to an increasingly discerning and style conscious young customer, with the pester power to sway their parents’ purchasing decisions. Greater access to social media means that children’s fashion is inspired by that of social media influencers and celebrities.

Children’s fascination with social platforms that utilise augmented reality – such as Snapchat – will also influence design. Snapchat’s quirky filters may pop up on T-shirts and hoodies. While children are veering away from fussy, complex styles, they are focused on detail, embroidery, lace and even holograms. Siblings are increasingly opting to wear matching or complementary outfits. Establishing their identity is important but children are finding comfort in choosing to express themselves with their siblings.

Children love active wear as it is both fashionable and functional and as they see the athleisure trend become more popular with adults.