Children model clothes for the Autumn-Winter 2012 collections during the CIFF Kids Trend Show during Copenhagen Fashion Week in Copenhagen on February 4, 2012. High-end designers bid for customer loyalty from a tender age.
Children model clothes for the Autumn-Winter 2012 collections during the CIFF Kids Trend Show during Copenhagen Fashion Week in Copenhagen on February 4, 2012. High-end designers bid for customer loyalty from a tender age. - 
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Stacey Vanek Smith: It's back to school shopping season and despite the weak economy, luxury retail has been doing well. And kids clothes are no exception.

From the Wealth and Poverty desk, Shereen Marisol Meraji reports.


Shereen Marisol Meraji: Gucci's been designing kids' clothes for two years now. So, I took a trip to its store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Inside, the kids section was pretty small, just a few racks and shelves. A 6-year-old was trying on a pair of $200 sneakers before her first day of school. But it was the tiny, camel-colored, leather jacket with the $1,700 price tag that screamed "luxury!"

Marshal Cohen: The designer and upper-end market has grown from 3 percent of the total kids business, to what now will probably become 6 to 8 percent by the end of 2012.

Marshal Cohen is the chief retail analyst with NPD Group. He says Oscar de la Renta has a new kids' line out this fall, and you can expect to see more high-end designers outfitting kids in the future. Cohen says it's all about getting kids connected to luxury.

Cohen: And addicted to it, and as they grow older you create some kind of loyalty and long term customer relationships.

Gucci's gateway drug: perhaps its $275 ice-grey, skinny jean for 6- to 12-year-old girls.

I'm Shereen Marisol Meraji for Marketplace.

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Follow Shereen Marisol Meraji at @RadioMirage