To be sure, the only thing fashion loves more than celebrities are their children. There is something about the anointed offspring of movie and music stars that brings out such effusive behavior from the industry, hence the advent of the baby celebrity tabloid covers, paparazzi bump watches, and apparently the hawking of pint-size luxury goods to moneyed parents.
Case in point? North West's estimated $3500 crystal fox fur the 1-year-old fashionista sported yesterday afternoon in New York while out "running errands" with mother, Kim Kardashian West.
Squinting through the thrash of paparazzi camera lights, most likely terrified at the bevy of attention Nori's new plush outerwear garnered, the tiny paper doll was undeniably chic, if not visibly turned off by the whole fanfare that seems to follow each of her designer wardrobe choices. Because without a doubt, this was only one in a slew of luxurious turns the infant has made in her very, very short life.
You will of course remember Nori's Vogue debut last spring, she naked atop her image conscious parents, Kanye and Kim Kardashian West, in an Annie Leibowitz-shot photo spread. The infant reportedly peed all over her father mid-shoot, which made the case that celeb babies are "just like us." To follow there was her Chanel-clad appearance in September 2014's CR Fashion Book and the whirlwind Paris fashion week bonanza where leather leggings, baby Doc Martins, and custom Givenchy was apart of the wee thing's style arsenal. The bambino went as a skunk and former Vogue Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley for Halloween, because costume changes, and then
Kanye leaked news came that her rap mogul father was spending a reported $74,000 on her Christmas gifts.
Whether Nori is inherently stylish is a moot cause: she's a 1-year-old and most likely just tackling letters and numbers, rather than color palettes, despite what her mother insists. Personal style suggests a sense of abject self Nori is only beginning to formulate. What is in fact very real is the fact that while West and her homegirl Blue Ivy look adorable in pint-size Dior, they are perfect examples of how parents thrust a luxury fashion savvy onto their children as an invariable reflection of themselves and their taste level. Nori and Blue aren't purchasing these high-ticket items, after all; their parents are. And true, if those parents are a "billion dollahs on an elevator" they can dress their offspring in any way they so choose, but what happens when a cultivated sense of style is transferred unknowingly onto a small personality flung into the spotlight? Nori's fur number isn't an "investment," as perhaps her grown mother's matching coat was; it's was a novelty. It telegraphs a message, not just about her size (look how tiny!), but the wealth her parents have accumulated and the status and space they inhabit.
As reported yesterday, august designer Karl Lagerfeld will be launching a children's collection for his namesake fashion line by 2016, the designs rolling out in the European, the Middle Eastern, and Korean markets to begin — a move that has nothing really to do with capitalizing on Lagerfeld's "wide appeal" but instead everything to do with following behind the international luxury market growth. Wherever those major earners/consumers go, certainly their children will be in tow. The ironic styles Lagerfeld is set to design are a wanton display of such disposable wealth, and good business would say the designer is a fool not to capitalize on it, but you have to wonder what is it all worth? What happens when spit up and juice stains spoil the Marc Kaufman pelt Nori was wrapped up into yesterday? Is the façade of luxury far too transparent in the face of such short-lived styles that kids will grow out of almost over night? And most importantly, will the public's thirst for its excessive displays ever cease?
Marjon Carlos is a style and culture writer for Fusion who boasts a strong turtleneck game and opinions on the subjects of fashion, gender, race, pop culture, and men's footwear.