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River Island launches gender-neutral kidswear


River island has launched gender-neutral kidswear with the tagline “Kids just want to be kids” as more brands seek to appeal to parents who disagree with strict gender lines in the clothes they buy for their families.

The new 12-piece line is a streetwear-style loungewear collection in a palette of grey, black and white, including an assortment of casual pieces and graphic tees targeting children aged five to 12. The move follows John Lewis also entering the gender-neutral kidswear space. Earlier this year it became the biggest name so far to do away with specific boys’ and girls’ labels in the kidswear department, instead using Boys & Girls or Girls & Boys for product from newborn up to age 14. Meanwhile, River Island said that it wants to encourage “little adults to make their own style stamp, gender aside” with its kidswear design manager Rebecca Perry saying that old stereotypes aren’t relevant in the store’s “modern, urban take on loungewear.” The move towards gender-neutral follows a number of recent social media storms after product created specifically for girls or boys was deemed to be too rigidly stereotyped and to assume that girls wouldn’t achieve. Footwear giant Clarks fell foul of this after it named girls’ shoes Dolly Babe and boys’ shoes Leader. Asda faced a similar reaction when it marketed boys’ slogan tees with words like Future Scientist on them while the girls’ equivalent said Hey Cutie.


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