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Not every retailer can boast that Kanye West and daughter North fell asleep in the nursery showroom while mom Kim Kardashian shopped, but at Couture Kids, it’s just another day at one of its seven boutiques.
Not every retailer can boast that Kanye West and daughter North fell asleep in the nursery showroom while mom Kim Kardashian shopped, but at Couture Kids, it’s just another day at one of its seven boutiques located in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Couture Kids is just what it sounds like: a playground for the rich and famous to dress their kids in the latest designer duds and outfit them with luxury gear.
The first Couture Kids location opened in 2005 at the Plaza Hotel in New York, whetting moms’ appetites for luxury brands, before expanding to Los Angeles. The two-floor Couture Kids flagship opened four years ago on West Hollywood’s trendy Robertson Boulevard, with 8,000 square feet of apparel, nursery furniture and juvenile products, including the country’s only Fendi in-store kids’ boutique and Stokke stroller showroom. The latest Couture Kids opened in 2018 at Miami’s Tony Bal Harbour Shops.
Couture Kids gets mega-publicity from its celebrity moms on Instagram and, contrary to what some competitors might think, it’s all organic. “We never pay celebrities to shop or support us,” says Bryan Olivarez, director of marketing, public relations and e-commerce, attributing such loyalty to Couture Kids’ best-in-the-market selection and service.
Being a new mom can be overwhelming, which is why Couture Kids aims to be a full-service personal concierge for its customers. That means handing them a checklist of what new moms need, to creating a private profile so the stores can remind them when it’s time to, for example, upgrade to a bigger car seat or stroller. Or, creating custom gift baskets ($200 to $2,000) according to gender, age and occasion followed by pictures submitted for approval until the customer is fully satisfied. Couture Kids’ apparel selection (sizes newborn to 16) is a mix of designer and leading brands. Fendi, Burberry and Petit Bateau lead the way, while Nununu, Billiblush and IKKS are also popular. Prices range from $40 to $6,000 while an average sale is $75 to $250. “We also do well with wooden toys from Hape, plus accessories from Elegant Baby,” Olivarez says.
In addition to a star-worthy selection along with many exclusives, the stores have offered baby development and infant massage classes, anniversary events with branded giveaways and even a petting zoo. In fact, the retailer just launched an exclusive Couture Kids Alpaca Wool plush in partnership with the rescue farm, Little Horse on the Prairie. A portion of proceeds go toward clean water efforts in Peru and in support of rescue animals. The launch event drew a huge crowd, as alpacas Fable and Whisper are true celebrities, Olivarez reports.
Next up? At the Robertson store, the apothecary category will expand for 2020 beyond the trial phase. “We’re around the corner from a hospital, so a lot of doctors recommend what to get for new moms and babies,” Olivarez says. “Overall, it’s growing our brand and international reach.” Speaking of which, tourism and international visitors are up at all locations and Olivarez knows why: “It’s simple, no one else has the selection we do.” —Lauren Parker
Care to dish on any of your celebrity shopping preferences? I’ll only give away those that post on social media or shop with a film crew! We really respect our clients’ privacy. The Kardashians are all regulars. We knew about their pregnancies before anyone. We have a press highlight on our Instagram Stories, like Cosmopolitan revealing how Kris Jenner spent $10K on three Silver Cross prams for her grandkids at Couture Kids on Robertson. There was also a big spike on the matching Fendi Pink Monster stroller and diaper bag that Cardi B posted about twice.
What were some of your bestsellers this year? In California, Petit Bateau closed its Rodeo Drive store, so we’re definitely getting a nice bump in demand. It’s always super comfy and great for layette. Moms turn to designer brands like Fendi, Burberry and Givenchy for that special event or crib shoes as a keepsake. Girls either love Tutu Du Monde’s cute poufy tutu princess dresses or go ‘rock star’ with Nununu. Dark and edgy has grown in popularity, like the all-black Balmain and Fendi tracksuits. Burberry’s new creative director has also created a huge buzz with its edgier track suits.
What’s trending style-wise? Celebrities and regular moms alike mix up designer brands, but everyone’s loving Fendi for its special collabs with artists/brands like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Fila. Parents want mini mes! In addition, the unicorn remains the one year-round theme with staying power, right down to our unicorn greeting cards.
What about for moms who want to gear up in style? Many designer brands have their own diaper bags, and all-time favorites are Burberry and Fendi ($1,400 to $2,000). In strollers, the biggest 2019 trend is the travel stroller, like Stokke’s Xplory or Beat, which are add-ons to regular strollers. But everyone’s talking about Cybex’s new motorized e-Priam—perfect for pushing up those Hollywood Hills! We’re the only official Stokke shop-in-shop in the U.S., and we custom built a full-category shop-in-shop upstairs that looks exactly like Stokke in Europe.
What’s been most challenging of late? We take training very seriously, and while our staff is trained extensively on every single item we carry, it’s hard to keep up with it all. But it’s essential.
Where do you see the store in five years? We opened three new stores last year, with more in the works—we’re going global!