KOELN, Germany (AVING Special Report on 'Kind+Jugend') -- <Visual News> From 16th to 19th September 2010, Kind + Jugend will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will once again be the sector's trendsetter. On four days, around 800 exhibitors will use the world's largest trade fair for children's outfitting to present their latest products and collections to the international trade visitors.
New trends can already be seen in all areas - even before the start of the fair. Furniture manufacturers, for instance, are focusing on durability and options for converting and adapting their products to serve other functions. In the area of pram and children's car seat manufacturers, the product developers are mainly concerned with issues regarding safety, mobility and individuality.
Stylish, high quality accessories free of hazardous substances are meeting the needs of fashion-conscious buyers. The demand for products that encourage early childhood education is being met by the manufacturers with a variety of sophisticated and high quality products.
Variety in the children's room
The homing trend continues to boom - consumers like to spend time at home. This trend is also noticeable in the segment of children's furniture. The demand for high quality products is growing - top-quality furniture is being purchased. The durability of the products mean they can be converted or used to serve other functions - a children's loft bed, for instance, can be turned into a bed for a teenager. In addition to product ranges made of MDF, solid wood also remains trendy. The furniture manufacturers' offerings are dominated by light-coloured woods like beech and birch. These woods are offered with leached, whitewashed, stained or glazed finishes.
Although the trend is still towards white or light coloured children's furniture, the children's room is also becoming more colourful. Furniture is being offered in combinations of grey/turquoise and plum/mud (a shade of grey), as well as in the fresh colours of blue, petrol or bright red. Some manufacturers are using colourful accents - for drawers for instance - or using specific textiles with bright colour schemes, versatile shades or patterns. Innovative textile boxes will be presented, which compliment the drawer elements. Children's rooms with themes, such as pirates or princesses, remain popular.
A variety of accessories compliment the patterns and colours of the children's rooms, rounding off the uniform impression. Furniture that is not only used in the children's room but also the living room or kitchen, such as a high-chair, is presented as being practical, simple to handle and easily integrated into any room in regard to its form and colour.
Easy to use children's car seats
When purchasing a children's car seat, particular importance is attached to maximum safety and excellent comfort. Here, service, quality and ease of use also play an important role. The new generation of car seats meet these demands. Excellent protection against side impact is provided by large headrests and side wings, which are made using energy absorbing material. The sophisticated technology is hidden by the ergonomically designed seats. Some seats provide comfort by offering a backrest which can be adjusted to fit the rear seat of the individual vehicle.
The materials used for the seats vary according to their function and the stress placed upon them - for instance, the headrest is made from very soft materials and areas that will come in contact with shoes or dirty fingers are covered in durable and easy to clean textiles. The colours used for the seats also follow this principle. Children's car seats are presented in dark and subtle shades with colourful contrasts. However, manufacturers are also returning to more colourful variations and are presenting car seats with colours in the style of the 1980s, combinations of uniform colour and patterns - as well as using bright red.
Mobile and individual
In addition to quality and safety, prams are also offering simpler handling. It is becoming less complicated, for example, to fold up folding prams or exchange elements likes shells or children's seats. The models presented are generally more compatible, flexible and lightweight. In addition to module systems, travel systems are also being used. Here, newborns and babies lie comfortably in a shell, which can later on be swapped for a pushchair seat that is included in the set. Parents can personalise their baby's pram in a targeted manner.
The colour of the frame, the shell or seat elements, the seat insert and other accessories can be chosen and combined according to taste. The manufacturers' concepts are oriented towards meeting the various needs of the individual user. This is also evident with regard to the colour concepts, which are mainly oriented towards the shades used by the fashion sector. Targeted colour samples, patterns and motives can be selected to compliment subtle shades. All in all, the colours are becoming more intensive and powerful and, in some cases, even garish.
High quality and individual fashion
Baby and children's fashions are presented in high quality soft materials free of hazardous substances. Cotton, terrycloth, velour and jersey made from cotton blends are being chosen. Fabrics are also being used that are dirt and water repellent. An important issue here and in the area of cotton products is UV protection. Fashion for babies is presented in pastel shades, pink, blue, white and beige, as well as plain and striped. Unisex items are also available in light colours. Applications, embroidery and prints provide special accents. Glossy surfaces are being used and colours, including turquoise, kiwi, taupe, petrol and blackberry are becoming more popular.
In the area of processing, importance is increasingly being attached to functional details such as hidden zips, adjustable straps, detachable sleeves, cuffs and wind protection. In the area of style and colour, children's fashion is oriented towards adult fashion. Consequently, children's clothes range from sporty and glamorous right through to exclusive.