A designer of a new range of 'loungerie' for 4-12 year olds says she is shocked at the negative reaction to her promotional campaign.
The website for Jours Après Lunes shows 10-yr-old girls in make-up and with voluminous up-dos wearing panties, bras, camisoles and T-shirts from the range. Fashion media and parent groups have expressed consternation over the underwear. Comments on parenting site Babble.com have called the images "totally inappropriate" and "disgusting."
But in an open letter to fashionista.com, designer Sophie Morin has as defended her designs.
"All I wanted to do was offer underwear that is soft and pleasant to wear... that is suited [to] their age, and that wasn’t an extension of women’s labels, which are often vulgar," wrote the designer.
"The materials…have no vulgar connotation: they are totally opaque, nothing transparent. The style is inspired by children’s fashion, with spots, bows, etc."
While commentators may draw bows with Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, the 10-year-old French model who has posed in high heels and make-up for Vogue magazine, Ms Morin says comparisons are misguided.
"My brand has nothing to do with the photos of Veronika Loubry’s daughter [Thylane] in Vogue, the confusion made by the press is totally wrong."
"All the photos show children playing children’s games, as we’ve all done. If you look at the details, you’ll often find elements of children’s games: dolls accessories, wooden animals, etc. A second reading is needed–no vulgar connotation. There is only one interpretation: children playing together, no more…The children aren’t wearing high heels nor nail polish nor lipstick. The hairdos are over the top, but so are children’s games. Yes, the models wear sunglasses, like every single kid. Yes, you see their stomachs and legs, like you do on the beach. Yes they wear necklaces inside the house, as do all little girls for fun. And finally, all the girls are professionals models and not Lolitas trying on women’s outfits. The direction of the photos is nothing weird, it is one frequently used by brands and magazines’ photo shoots."
Aside from the promotional material, critics have questioned the need for triangle bras for girls barely out of toddlerhood.
In response, Ms Morin said that, "triangle bras–and there are only two models in the collection–are worn as swimwear for youngest clients; these can be worn as a first brassiere for girls and even young women who aren’t looking for real support, since these don’t have underwire. There are no real bras in my collection."
Does the range cross the line? Comment on The Essential Kids forums.