Gen Alpha – children up to the age of 13-years-old – and their mostly Millennial parents are becoming clones of one another. Gen A has already been labelled as ‘Mini-Millennials’ due to them sharing the same attitudes as their parents, but, now, thanks to brands from Uniqlo to Crocs to Reiss, they can even look alike. ‘Mini-Me’ dressing is flooding the high-street.
The trend is being driven by social media, Father’s Day and is a continuation of the family Christmas pyjama/jumper phenomenon. The narcissistic trend makes for cute family pictures and it’s driving sales.
John Lewis is selling its ‘Mini-Me’ Anyday range online saying, “And now dressing just like mum is made easy with Anyday’s new ‘Mini Me’ capsule, which offers a range of co-ordinating pieces for little ones and grown-ups. Spring’s answer to the family Christmas pyjamas trend, the selection of desirable tops, dresses and skirts promises to add a playful twist to outfits (and family photos).”
Family/Mom influencers give visibility to the trend by styling their children in the same outfits as themselves. But, it’s not all women’s and childrenswear. Manchester-based, outerwear specialist, Private White V.C. says, last year, it received a birthday request for “a brown bomber jacket from Daddy’s factory” from Max Eden, the five-year-old son of the CEO & Co-Founder, James Eden. They proceeded to produce a stitch-by-stitch child size replica of the ‘Moleskin Bomber’ for Max and since publishing the images of the ‘Father & Son’ duo sporting their matching Jackets, they have been inundated with requests. The Mini Moleskin Bomber (main image) is the brand’s first foray into childrenswear and is being touted as the perfect outfit for Father’s Day.
Anna Tizard and Lydia Barron of Tiba + Marl, a brand creating ‘thoughtfully designed and contemporary accessories that you’ll want to be seen with’ produces matching accessorises for adults and children.
The two-founders say, “We love the ‘Mini-Me’ trend. Our kids collection is mostly suitable for toddlers, and up to about age 6/7 years-old and we pair all the kids styles back to prints that feature in our main adult range.
“For the younger ones we feel it is more led by the parents and is probably a blend of Mum and Dad wanting everything to look considered, and to add that extra attention to detail.. For the slightly older kids we think it’s maybe just that we offer some really cute recognisable prints + metallic colourways, but also if a new baby is coming into the home we see that the parents like the existing child to be involved with the experience of the new baby and feel included in the preparation/ purchases. Families love to match, so we even have matching dog coats and hand warmers in our range!!”
Tiba + Marl mostly targets the parents, and sources real life families for its campaigns that either include babies, young children or both, so there is an element of ‘real life’ styling and demonstrates how the whole family can use the range, and how good the products look when worn as matching, or co-ordinating sets.
Brands such as Mango, Superga, Very, Cath Kidston and Matalan are all offering matching product ranges in various sizes. Many brands are offering very distinct, gender focused product for either matching daughter with mum or son with dad. There isn’t much gender neutrality at the moment, but then that doesn’t look as striking on social channels.
Japanese giant, Uniqlo has a huge collection enticing consumers to “recreate your favourite looks with your little one with our range of mini-me ensembles for adults and kids.” The collection of basics could easily be used to match fathers with daughters and mothers and sons.
The ‘Mini-Me’ trend has been gathering momentum for a few years now and is now firmly in the brand offer of many family-friendly brands. Instagram focussed collections point to capturing special family moments on holiday or at Christmas time to grow impulse sales. From men’s mini-matching swim shorts to women’s floral frocks, ‘Mini-Me’ dressing feels like an additional add-on purchase opportunity. For brands, there could be savings in production, fabric costs and design teams.
There was a time when you could look at something in childrenswear and wish they made it in your size. The bigger the ‘Mini-Me’ trend gets, they may well do.