X Marks the Spot

From evergreen characters and iconic toys to luxe labels and e-commerce brands, companies are creating unique collabs to up their exclusivity appeal and draw in new customers. We round up four new kids’ partnerships launching this year.

Play-Doh Shapes Up

Hasbro, Inc. the global play and entertainment powerhouse, has teamed with Creative Kids, a manufacturer of interactive kids’ arts and crafts and STEM toys, to produce full line of Play-Doh toys with new twists in the Air Dry and Modeling Clay compounds space. The first products stemming from the multi-year, multi-national licensing agreement for all distribution channels will launch in spring. “Play-Doh has been shaping imaginations for generations of families by offering unique and engaging experiences for both kids and parents, for over 65 years,” said Vice President of Hasbro Global Licensing Jess Richardson. ”This strategic partnership with Creative Kids allows the Play-Doh brand to expand upon that vision, offering kids exciting new innovative compounds to further unlock their creativity and imagination. We can’t wait to see the explorative fun these products will deliver.”

MICHAEL by Michael Kors Kids

Michael Kors, Now in the Smallest Sizes

In partnership with French-based luxury company Children Worldwide Fashion (CWF), Michael Kors has launched its first-ever kids’ wear. The premier MICHAEL Michael Kors (MMK) collection will roll out for spring, with the first offerings for girls 4 to 14, with boys and baby to follow. The first drop comprises 54 styles and 13 accessories—including a range of branded activewear, jersey dresses, fleece skirts, swimwear, backpacks, and crossbody bags—that draw inspiration from the women’s assortment and use same branding with the MK gold circle charm.

Described as “cool, stylish, comfortable,” Kids’ MMK aims to provide children with the confidence for self-expression. The collection is “A fresh mix of trends, colors, fabrics, prints and silhouettes that are always of-the-moment, that are sporty in feel but urban in attitude. It offers a piece for every occasion, accessible luxury with a hint of the unexpected, modern glamour with an element of ease,” according to a spokesperson for CWF.

“The sportswear inspiration at the heart of Michael Kors lends itself perfectly to the children’s market and we look forward to building upon this enormous opportunity with CWF,” said Michael Kors CEO Josh Schulman. CWF is a major player in luxury childrenswear, representing brands such as Givenchy, Chloé, Kenzo, and Karl Lagerfeld. The clothing range will be sold globally through Michael Kors online, wholesale channels, Zalando, Ounass and Salam stores, as well as through CWF distribution points.

Go Back to School with Appaman X Peanuts

Appaman x Peanuts

Multiple Earnie Award-winner Appaman’s newest collab with a classic set of characters, the Peanuts, launches for Back-to-School 2022 with 15 styles. The collection merchandises back to the main collection so there are endless opportunities. “A collaboration offers a different point of view to our loyal fan base and opens up the brand to a wider audience that may be fans of the partner and get a new experience with our brand,” explained CEO Steve Silbaugh. “Peanuts is such an iconic brand and we saw the symmetry between their visuals and ours. Their team approached us in 2021 and it felt like a great opportunity. Our design director, Will Herrera, came up with a compelling concept that all involved parties loved and we felt it was a must do situation.”

Appaman is no stranger to the collab world, it has launched several in the recent past, including its highly successful one with Ziggy Marley in 2020, which was sold exclusively at Nordstrom’s and on the Appaman website. In fact, the Appaman X Ziggy Marley will be available again for Spring ’22 with a slightly expanded distribution. “They loved our expression of the two brands, and it was a true partnership,” Silbaugh said.

Zulily X Sunshine Swing Resort

ZulIly x Sunshine Swing Resort Collection

For its current collab, online retailer Zulily launched a Back-to-School contest where six kid-created designs were chosen as the inspiration for the Zulily x Sunshine Swing Resort Collection that drops this spring. To help inform this process, Zulily surveyed 1,000 parents with children ages 5 to 18, “knowing that Gen Z has been responsible for a fundamental shift in the way a family shops, from what they want and why,” according to Kiki Lockwood, Merchandising Manager of Kids Apparel. “We tapped these fashion-forward Gen Z creatives to inspire the exclusive resort wear kid’s capsule collection as we saw an opportunity to build equity in a brand exclusive to Zulily and position ourselves as the retailer of choice – kid and parent approved,” Lockwood said.

The winners of the #UniquelyZu Contest are Kyrie, a 7-year-old fan of all things tie-dye, from Riverside, Calif., Kamden, an 8-year-old budding entrepreneur, from Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Jazlyn, a 9 year old with impressive sketching skills from Post Falls, ID; Emma, a 9-year-old with an eye for color blocking, from Seattle; Marlee, an 11-year-old with impressive fashion sketch talent from Roseville, CA; and Mady, a 14-year-old digital artist in the making, from Provo, UT. Zulily x Sunshine Swing Resort Collection is produced by ASIS, a manufacturer that has been working with the e-tailer since 2015.


Leave a Comment: