kid’s wear is a biannual magazine that features “children’s fashion, lifestyle and culture.” The publication is released at the beginning of every fashion season, and includes German, English and Italian text. Cologne-based Meiré und Meiré, a.k.a. Mike Meiré, a.k.a. NEO NOTO, is the studio responsible for its design and art direction. From the examples on their website, it appears that a redesign happened somewhere around 2006 and Meiré has designed issues 22–33, respectively. The magazine is published by photographer Achim Lippoth.
kid’s wear is somewhat of a new interest of mine, but I can’t say that I was hooked right away. At first I was skeptical of a magazine that emphasized high-end fashion to children at their most impressionable age. On the surface it appeared elitist, and quite frankly, the antithesis of what we should be focusing our efforts toward as designers and visual thinkers. But then I took a step back and started to dive into the actual work.
It’s unfortunate that the magazine positions itself so much as a fashion magazine, and doesn’t capitalize on the freedom of its content and the extremely interesting world of a child’s psyche. The more I flipped through it, the more I fell in love with the idea. It’s exciting that children can be the focus of such a respected—that is, treated with respect—magazine, even if they can’t read it, and get the opportunity to publish their crayon drawings or have photographers like Nan Goldin take photos of them playing carnival games all day long.
I’m not going to ignore the fact that fashion (and I’m starting to question the definition of the word) plays a significant role, but maybe that’s okay. Children love to dress up and look completely weird, even if they think it’s the best clothing combination they’ve ever put together. Opposite the “high-end” fashion, the magazine also focuses on the mundane idiosyncrasies found within different social groups around the world. The pages become a platform of youthful celebration, hopefully always with the child’s best interests in mind. And I almost forgot to mention the beautiful design!
Type and image are treated with a thoughtful hand and pushed in the direction of an avant-garde aesthetic. Photography shines as a primary component, while a softly gridded skeleton marries the elements of illustration and editorial subtleties. The final result sets a great example of work being done for children that doesn’t look like a child did it.
I’m curious to hear the reaction of others, primarily Americans, to the concept and content of this magazine. I have a strange feeling that it’s more widely accepted in Germany and Italy, but perhaps I’m over thinking it. Relevance aside, I do think it combines the passion of design, art, business, curiosity, expression, acceptance, spontaneity and fun—all attributes that are equally important to the growth of any child, nationality aside.