In their unrelenting quest to stay as untouched by reality as they could, celebrities hiring professional stylists to dress their toddlers is certainly a radical step forward. While many stars have displayed a drastic dedication to keeping their children away from the spotlight, others have proudly set out to make use of them as a puffery tool.
What started as a practice strictly limited to school-aged children of celebrities, has slowly pervaded the infants being exposed to exorbitant nappies and branded onesies, all of which are inevitably smeared by frequent bouts of reflux and muck.
Speaking to The Guardian, entertainment writer Katie Rosseinsky reflected on the thought process behind the notion, which sees the investment in children’s stylists as an easier avenue to rope in deals from childrenswear or lifestyle brands in the future.
"Celebrities have been very aware for a while that their kids can almost be an extension of their brand," she affirmed. "A lot of celebrities are probably savvy to the fact that the parenting market is a huge commercial opportunity and that well-turned-out kids can be the best advert for a potential childrenswear or lifestyle brand."
The aforementioned practice is observed in many renowned celebrities, including Rihanna, who shares son RZA Athelston Mayers, with A$AP Rocky. The megastar unveiled the toddler’s face for the first time in a cover photo shoot for Vogue after nearly a year in May. While Rihanna and Rocky stunned in all-black ensembles, Mayers was one adorable kid, who put on his best expression at his first-ever photoshoot. It was later revealed that he was assigned his own stylist to dress him in, yes, a nappy.
Naomi Campbell announced the arrival of her second child via Instagram last week with a picture of her son sporting a white night suit and matching hat alongside a heartwarming caption. Fans enjoyed collective amusement at the credits mentioned after the text, which included a whimsical nod to the fashion stylist Rodney Burns.
Being born into the age of social media, when every viral moment culminates in a brand deal, celebrities hiring stylists for their kids shouldn’t sound too grim. Though it does evoke a concern pertaining to the lengths stars go to use their kids for advertisements and securing brand ventures.
It is also especially unfortunate when the kids have no idea what they are being pushed into. As they grow up, star kids have no choice but become accustomed to a world that thrives on having big credits to their names. Hence, it's paramount to give them a shot at a normal childhood by shrouding them from the spotlight until they are old enough to make a choice by themselves.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s eldest daughter North, 10, is on her way to becoming an icon in the fashion world, owing to her eccentric sense of style and her parents’ ties to the biggest fashion conglomerates.
In a very short time, she has become a subject of advertisement for many designers and stylists, including her fathers’ brand Yeezy, and often Balenciaga. She has continued to turn heads at several fashion show appearances alongside her mother, giving the latter a run for her money every time.
Tennis star Serena Williams also fosters her access to renowned stylists, with her daughter Alexis Olympia, 6, having one at her disposal months shy into her birth. The 6-year-old sparked headlines in 2017 when it was revealed that the athlete’s stylist, Kesha McLeod styled the then-infant for her parents’ wedding at the time.
Alexis has since seamlessly melded into the opulent lifestyle, often twinning with her mother for commercials and big events.
The children styling strategy is a win-win for fashion artisans who inevitably gain positive press coverage every time a celebrity parent posts their kids in luxurious ensembles and quirky styling, and God forbid if the effort is received in a negative light, its ultimate upshot culminates in a viral social media moment.
Rosseinsky explained: "If kids are a key part of a famous person’s brand, it makes sense that they’re thinking about how those kids are perceived, or even preparing them for a similar career in the spotlight."
In 2019, Beyoncé’s former assistant Manuel Mendez revealed that he was hired by the singer as a full-time stylist for then-seven-year-old Blue Ivy, who was responsible for shopping, planning, and styling the kid’s day-to-day outfits.
Kylie Jenner is another household name when it comes to having an A-game in fashion – an honour she is proudly passing on to her children. Her daughter Stormi, 5, whom she shares with rapper Travis Scott, has been regularly shown donning complimentary outfits by a plethora of designers, including Marine Serre, Mugler, and Balmain.
The obsession of celebrities with having their kids glammed up from top to bottom is no longer restricted to scarce fashionable outings; frequent social media updates showing off their domestic lives make it a point to have the kids in their best bib and tuckers at all times.
"An emphasis on more candid photos and videos, has only opened up celebrities’ domestic lives even more and, for better or worse, put their children further into the spotlight," analyzed Rosseinsky.
The problem doesn’t lie in the notion of celebrity kids exercising their access to a hedonistic wardrobe; it is their exploitation wrought by their parents who most often don’t even realize the impact of their practice in the long term. It exposes the kids to an over-stimulating environment, which is barely tolerated by the stars themselves.