Downsizing Style

Why kids are the latest consumers of pricey designer clothing and accessories

Mei Tao for TIME

Sales are booming for cutting-edge styles, like this Marc Jacobs outfit

Walk into Marc Jacobs' newest retail outpost in Manhattan's West Village, and you're likely to see eager shoppers snapping up his signature thermal-style cashmere sweaters, brass-buttoned military jackets and floral-print peasant blouses. As for the must-have accessories? They might pick up a few stuffed animals or a baby blanket or two. These days Jacobs' trendy customers are as aware of the fashion image of their offspring as they are of their own. Thus they are flocking to the hip designer's Little Marc boutique, which opened in November.

Like many high-end European and American designers, Jacobs is cashing in on the growing...

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