LONDON (Reuters) - From a $112,000 diamond-and-gold dummy to a $1,320 Gucci baby tracksuit, you can never be too young to enjoy a little luxury.
As Britain’s Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle prepare to welcome their first child, there is no shortage of high end brands they can turn to for nursery furniture, baby clothing and plenty of toys.
Personalized cots, cashmere cardigans and traditional rocking horses are among luxury items on offer for youngsters, with an array of brands seeking to capitalize on affluent parents’ demand for such costly items.
“It’s grown into a huge market. It’s been hugely helped by the royals because it gives a lot of these brands an international platform,” said Kate Freud, editor at large of luxury parenting magazines Baby and Little London.
“You can be looking at anything from a simple cotton baby grow that’s 90 pounds ($117) ... to a Burberry changing bag which is 850 pounds, and beyond. Some of the prices are really eye-watering but parents are prepared to pay it.”
Among those providing luxury baby products is Spanish company Suommo whose Dodo diamond and pure gold dummy is priced at 100,000 euros ($112,240). An 18-carat gold plated cot costs 60,000 euros. Other firms offer bespoke mattresses, gold high chairs or silver rattles.
Harry and Meghan, known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have revealed little during the pregnancy. Meghan told well-wishers in January she was six months pregnant but the couple did not know the baby’s gender.
British media have reported they have picked neutral colors for the nursery at their new Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor and published a picture of a car with pram maker iCandy’s logo arriving at their gates.
Harry’s cousin Zara Phillips is an ambassador for iCandy, whose pushchairs sell for up to 1,500 pounds ($1,956).
Like his or her cousins - Prince William’s children George, Charlotte and Louis - baby Sussex will likely be an influencer.
When the trio have been photographed wearing childrenswear brands like Rachel Riley, Pepa & Company and Amaia, many parents have swiftly shopped the same looks.
“I can imagine (Meghan) mixing the traditional brands with a more contemporary spin,” Freud said.
“Whatever she ends up doing, it’s going to be a sellout.”
The UK childrenswear market is expected to have grown 19 percent to 6.86 billion pounds in 2018 from 2013, according to a report by market research firm Mintel, which found over a third of parents think branded clothes were worth paying more for.
At London children’s boutique Marie Chantal, embroidered baby grows, silk chiffon dresses and cashmere knits are on offer, with prices reaching up to 350 pounds.
“We have royal customers, VIP and celebrity customers from around the globe,” commercial manager Erika Loch said. “We use the finest cottons, the finest linens and the finest cashmeres.”
Many designer labels carry childrenswear ranges, popular with fashionista parents.
At New York’s Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store, baby Gucci shoes, Dolce & Gabbana dresses and Burberry outfits hang beside a $500 teddy bear and $6,000 battery powered car. Handmade Mischka Aoki tulle dresses are priced over $1,000.
“It is as luxurious as you can get,” said Andrew Mandell, vice president of home, jewelry and children at Bergdorf Goodman. “It’s almost couture for children and we start with babies.”
Reporting by Jayson Mansaray and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; additional reporting by Alicia Powell in New York; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne
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