Gucci Zoo Children’s Bag, $495 via Gucci

Designing for kids is all the rage lately. Brands who haven’t had children’s lines in the past are all lining up to expand into the marketplace, with Lanvin in particular launching a much-lauded collection for tots in the past few months. Which, naturally, brings about lots of questions about what role luxury goods should have in the lives of kids.

I’m not here to tell anyone how to spend their money (well, actually, I guess that is part of my job), but things like the Gucci Zoo Children’s Bag make me a little uneasy. Part of my love of designer bags came as a result of my parents’ insistence that I save my own money to buy my first one when I was in high school; working toward being able to afford a special item that you want is a great lesson for children, no matter the tax brackets of their parents.

Of course, it’s still fully possible to teach your kids that lesson and still buy them expensive things from time to time, and the absence of designer handbags marketed to kids doesn’t necessarily meant that parents aren’t still going to buy regular luxury bags for their kids. But something about the idea of marketing a handbag to a demographic that doesn’t have a wallet, keys or cell phone to carry just seems extra cynical to me, not to mention fundamentally different than buying a young girl a little Lanvin dress for a formal event, where the purchase would fullfil the exact same purpose for the child as a Lanvin dress would for a grown woman. Handbags are functional, at their core, and telling a little girl with nothing to carry that she needs to have one (and that her mom needs to spend hundreds of dollars on it) seems like the worst kind of consumerism.

The fact that Gucci’s kids bag is half covered in logos makes me even more reticent to endorse its existence; what exactly does that teach to a five-year-old? If you’d like to teach your daughter to value nice things, wouldn’t a nondescript bag made out of fine leather be a better choice than $500 worth of logos with a pig face on one end? There’s plenty of time for children to learn those other lessons later, one would think.

Gucci can make whatever bags it feels like making, market them to whomever it wishes and reap whatever profits may or not come its way. Similarly, people will spend their incomes how they see fit. I merely hope that those who have the means to give their kids everything realize that it may not always be the wise thing to do so.

What say you? Would you buy a designer logo bag for your elementary school-aged child?

You can buy the bag pictured via Gucci.com for $495.

  • lazeny

    This reminded me of Sex and the City movie where Charlotte’s daughter was carrying a Judith Leiber evening bag. But I guess she was carrying it because the kid is attending an important event and just had to carry a 4K+ purse.

    • nappy

      i just hope Charlotte had the mind to return the bag after use and exchange it for a really nice Bottega! hahahaha

    • Claudia

      Actually, that was originally Carrie’s bag – the pink Cupcake bag? And Charlotte’s daughter got it when the were cleaning out Carrie’s closet for her move. One of the best scenes in the movie!

    • Anna rocky point

      I would give my kid the very best if I had a kid.
      Gucci, all the best stuff

  • rose60610

    It’s disturbing in the sense that it’s like making a child another one of Mom’s fashion accessories. Not unlike the role of tiny dogs shoved into a Louis Vuitton doggie carrier for all the world to see.

    • marinaharbour

      I totally agree its an accessory for the mom!, I know its wrong…but Im a mom and love to see my kids in Ralph Lauren shirts and Burberry Sweaters!
      Anyway I think a 500 hundred dollar handbag is a little bit extreme!!!

  • Fiona-Brazil

    Wrong in so many levels….The same goes for children going to beauty saloons every week.Let them be children!Life is too short , it is a pitty to skip childhood…

    • lulugurl2006

      Agreed…

  • jason

    If it her only bag, and uses it for school and sleep overs, i think it is a great idea. This bag is CHEAP compared to the little girls I see with mini birkins (10,000$) and ive even seen a little girl with a small size crocodile birkin (30,000$) This is really not that expensive if you think about how much you would be spending on JanSports for the rest of her life.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      …but this bag isn’t big enough to carry books or clothes, and it’s not nearly as classic as Hermes? It’s just a Gucci logo bag with a pig face on it.

    • Sage

      I disagree. As soon as the little girl turns 6 she will think this bag is stupid. An its not that practical.

      • Lori

        I agree with your comment. At least make a bag that can grow with the little girl. I could see some well meaning person giving this bag as a gift. What a waste to have it look like only a 5 year old could carry it rather than looking like a miniature of an adult bag that the child could keep for years and years. (I have a 5 year old, she gets bags from Target…)

  • JJ

    Like you said in the article. I think you can still teach your children to be responsible with money but still buy them fun things like this zoo bag every now and then. I don’t particularly love the logo book but I am ok with buying my children something fun like this.

    I don’t think it necessarily needs to be super functional, It is for children after all, so it’s ok that it’s not big enough to carry books or clothes, but just something she can put her juicebox, a toy, a small scarf or whatever she wants to put in there.

  • maddismom

    I splurge at get my kids things that are expensive but mainly because i believe or would like to believe they might serve a purpose better (i.e., light weight, extra functional winter coats, ski wear, comfy shoes) so it’s not so much the dollar figure that bothers me, rather it’s the complete snobbish, in your face,excessiveness of it. I find it offensive that a small child is essentially flaunting the excesses wealth, when there are so many full grown adults out there that try to get by with that much money for a month’s worth of living expenses. I realize that the argument would break down with any number of other examples – because hell, then even a $50 jansport backpack is expensive and could buy a child in Africa months worth of food – but it’s just the bold statement that is offensive. There is absolutely no discretion about it..it’s crass.

    • Ryvyan

      I’d agree with poster here that marketing branded goods for kids is crass, and with PB’s Amanda that if one wants to teach their kids about being careful with spending money on quality products, a no-brand quality leather product (could be bright coloured!) would easily do. Said bag would easily last a few years.

  • Lana Moore

    A splurge is one thing, but a $500 purse is not a splurge; especially if after the child reaches 15 she won’t give the bag a second look. Seriously, who is going to buy it after it goes out of style? A bag that won’t lose it’s luster over time is more appropriate, and even then, it shouldn’t cost more than 3 full tanks and gas and two oil changes!

  • Linda

    My niece got her first designer bag at 12 – an LV mini sac HL….she likes being like her auntie…..

  • Anne

    I agree….we are setting our children up for failure, especially in this economy, to focus on the unnecessary extras in life, rather then the main needs such as food, shelter, and charitable responsibility of others. Do want to raise our future women of the world to be empty shells? Because if that’s the case, all you women out their with sons are inheriting disasters as daughter in laws, or future old maids who were unfortunately taught a non-virtuous life. Even people with more money to handle are teaching their children better these days to rather not set them up for failure in the future….This is very extreme at such a young age =(

  • Nuha

    I don’t really mind purchasing designer goods for kids if one can afford it and it doesn’t clash wuth being a kid. I mean designer clothes for example are just like any type of clothes but of course much more expensive or even a designer backpack where the kid could use it for school. However, the situation with this tote which i believe is directed towards girls younger than 10 (it has a pig face on it!) is totally different. Why would a 10 year girl need a tote ? Regardless of who designed it, it’s pretty much useless for her and puts a constraint with what she can do. Just imagine her playing tag with a tote

  • Liz

    You know I probably would buy my daughter a designer bag in say middle school. As for now her favorite purses are bought at whole foods, made out of cotton based materials and look like horses and butterflies. I believe they cost about $20 and bring her no end of happiness.

    • Lori

      Wish there was a “like” button for your comment!

  • irina

    if you can’t afford your first designer bag, then you’re not ready to have one.

    • Anne

      @ iriana: Nice one =)

    • Bec

      I agree!

  • Lianne

    Okay, now this is ridiculous. It’s cute and all, but way too expensive for a kid. For a more durable (and cute) bag, I go my niece one of the Sammie bags from Samsonite (one of the Giraffe bags). Highly durable, and not expensive. She’s got a long way to go before she gets near leather, let alone designer.

  • Anne

    By the way…GUCCI is not designer, it’s Couture….way different scale…designer clothes and bags are made affordable….Couture clothing and accessories are in a whole different bracket of price range.

    • Priss

      No, not everything a premier designer makes is couture. Just like Dior has their ready to wear collection in addition to their COUTURE collection… so not everything Dior, Gucci, Prada, etc. makes is couture LOL! So yes, it is a designer bag, premier designer if you prefer to separate that from the less expensive designers.

  • klynneann

    While reading this post, all I could think of was Suri Cruise. Granted, kind of not your normal child to begin with (in the, my parents are very rich celebrities who coddle me sense), but every time I think of her I just wonder what she’s going to grow up to be like.

    • Ryvyan

      There is this blog that focuses on her clothes. Shockingly, her clothes are not as expensive (plenty of Gap kids) and she rewears them like all little kids do. Considering her parents’ finances and fame, that’s down to earth.

  • A

    I’m with Amanda! I don’t think that spoiling your child with absolutely unnecessary items leads to anything good. I think that having to work for something is what leads to responsible adults. To tie in recent blog posts, take a look at Ashley from NJ Housewives. She has been spoiled and now just thinks that the world should fall at her feet. She has no idea how to work for anything. Bags like this are a bad idea.

  • Amy

    I don’t have kids but if I did I doubt I would be buying them Gucci. I am an auntie… but to boys who would turn this bag into a football and destroy it. However, my boyfriend has two adorable little nieces who he likes to spoil and I think this is an appropriate fun gift from aunt/uncle with no kids and plenty of $$$ who get to shower gifts and love and ice cream for dinner on their nieces/nephews now and then. In our case, he has already given the little heart-shaped coin purses (purchased on sale) for bday/holiday gifts – and totally ticked off his brother (daddy to his nieces). Just my $0.02…

  • LCR

    I don’t know how I feel about this issue. To me, a $500 bag aimed at little girls does seem a bit extreme. However, it’s most likely not going to happen in my family any time soon. I bought my little niece a cute hello kitty purse for $15 bucks to add to her little collection of dress up bags and such. She carries it when she has something to “go to” like a family party. Do I wish I could take her to a store and buy her a mini bag to match one of mine; of course it would be adorable, but I’ve come to realize she is 5 years old and needs to be a kid, so I fight the temptation to buy her any no matter how inexpensive they are.

  • topsyturvyriz

    buying this gucci bag for a child is no different from a child seeing her mom go gaga over a chanel, an hermes or an LV. it essentially teaches the child the same thing… in the end we cannot teach a child 1 thing and do otherwise. this is not just about the bag. it’s the lifestyle and spending habits we generally employ at home.

  • PhotoGirl

    There has been much discussion of late about Ashley and Milania on the Real Houswives of New Jersey.

    How do you create thoughtless little girls/young women like that? Well, you can start with the mindless over indulgence of a bag like this. And when your Entitled Little Miss thanks you by calling you a b****, failing to graduate, or doing some other atrocious thing, you’ll have only yourself to blame.

    That $500 might be put to better use in a college fund. Or, for those who are so well off that this bag is actually an option, how about showing your daughter how far a $500 charitable contribution could go? There are some very hungry people in Somalia tonight. That $500 would do a lot of good for an entire village of little girls who don’t even know how to dream of carrying a Gucci bag.

  • s.l.

    i’m more offended by how ugly it is. and the kid will get sick of it so quickly. at least if you bought your kid a regular designer bag she could still carry it when she’s older. my parents bought my my first expensive bag (dooney and burke, hugely popular at the time), a small one, when i was 12 and i still have it/carry it. It’s classic and nostalgic

  • twinkle.tink

    I would never buy this bag for my daughter. Honestly, it isn’t very cute and very limiting. And specifically buying a $500 bag for a little girl does smack of over indulgence.

    Now, with that said, I will disclose that my daughter (almost 3) does use a Vuitton white Murakami mini HL & a Vuitton Cherry Blossom pouchette. She, of course, doesn’t realize they are designer, she just knows they match mommy’s bag…which she loves. I bought both of them used for $100 & $200, respectively long before she was born…so I didn’t buy them for her, but think it is fine for her to use them and consider them hers. I figure she can use them for years and years to come and if she gets tired of them, they can come back to me.

    But overall, how is buying a $500 purse any different than spending hundreds on custom painting in a baby’s room, or a fancy crib or any other over priced baby item? If you have the money, who should be the judge of how it should be spent?

  • somethingbags

    “Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree…or designer bag for that matter.”

    First part of the quote by Marian Wright Edelman

  • Pixiejenna

    IMO this bag is UGLY it’s just a gucci logo bag they slapped a pig face on the side. Even if I was in a financial position to be able to buy my kids desiger bags I wouldn’t. I can’t justify it kids need to be kids and most kids would be happy with a $10 purse from target. I wouldn’t mind giving a kid a handbag I no longer wanted. I’ve given my niece a few of my bags i no longer use and wouldn’t be worth my time to try selling them. I try to sell what i can but if its not worth the time & energy selling them I’ll see what my family wants, whatever they don’t want my friends get second pic, and anything left goes to good will. She loved them and felt special using them she knows they are pricy. But she would never in a million years ask for or expect to get one.

  • Faiza

    im muslim…so no “pig” bags for children in my family :P i have to agree with many of you here..silly idea to have a designer bag for a child….you can buy a child sparkly bag from dollar store….she will prefer that. and as a parent you will save $499 for schooling.

    • Memete

      I’m a muslim too, and I don’t mind giving my children things with pigs on them. As long as they don’t try to eat the purse :)

  • graemester

    I think kids can have designer or branded items when they have reached the realisation of what it really means to them, for example, influenced by peer pressure or simply because they begin to understand the desire of having something branded. With that awareness should come the realisation of its value, i.e., how expensive it is and whether or not it can be afforded.
    Designer doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to big names like Gucci or LV. It can also easily extend to say Nike as opposed to Keds which may be cheaper – but kids will obviously want to pick the more expensive brand because their peers have it as well.
    Education for children on the meaning of value is so crucial to helping the child reach realistic decisions over their choices – and ideally it would be great if it can be applied to anyone rich or poor.

  • jason

    Why are you all talking about this purse? have you not seen the 800$ boys backpack from Burberry, or the 1,600$ backpack for boys from Gucci? These are aimed for ages 5-12 and are way more then this rabbit bag!

  • Liz

    I think it finger point to Suri coz every parents jealous Cruise family clan whom can afford everything even spoilt Suri than her older siblings!

    for me.. nay let alone spoil kids on reasonable creative toys!!!!!!

  • Jennifer

    I think this bag is funny! Like a 5 year old is going to know how much it cost -to her, its just a purse. I had purses when I was that age & put my chapstick & a few little toys in it; I couldn’t have told you whether it was $5 or $500. The only way that child will know its designer is whether the ADULTS in that child’s life make a big deal out of it. Having said that, does a 5 year old even have a concept of $500? Doubt it. To that child, it’s just another toy. IMO, I think way too much is being read into it.

  • Katie

    I got my first designer bag at age 12. It was a louis Vuitton 25″ speedy. My mom laughed when I told her I wanted it for Christmas. After a year of not getting it I decided to save up my money and buy it myself. That was the best thing my mom did for me. I saved up bought the bag and I still love it till this day, granted it is a little small but I can put a strap on it. The point is that I would not love it as much as I do if my mom didn’t make me pay for it. I got a classic one that would be in style forever so hopefully I can one day have a daughter and give it to her.

  • Karie

    If I have a daughter who wants a purse, the first bag I’ll get for her is a cheap $10 Hello Kitty PVC or Fabric purse, just to see how she takes care of it. Then by high school I may go to the Coach outlet and find a small purse or wristlet under $50 (+whatever additional discount they have). I probably wouldn’t dare buy a bag higher than that until she completes high school or gets a job.

    Then I might up the price so she can get a larger purse. But I will continue to get her mid-end brands like Rebecca Minkoff, Coach, Juicy Couture or Dooney. I will never buy her a Gucci, LV, or Bottega. She is going to have to get a job and save that money if she wants a premier designer bag. No way. I rather save those thousands and use it for something more worthwhile.

    Hopefully I won’t have a son who is also a purse lover. Otherwise I’ll most likely make him buy all that stuff himself. ^.^;

    • gymanst592

      My mother tells me the same thing, and right now she will buy me a coach if I really want it, but nothing else. My father also tells me that there are three certain things in life- death, taxes, and the fact that he will never buy me a LV or anything in that price range, hahaha :) And my parents also tell me that instead of this handbag I want, they are saving up for college instead, and I can never argue with that because if I had to pick a designer handbag or college, I would pick college- it is looming over me since I am a junior in high school :)

  • Rashida

    The bag is cute. But I agree it is a bit much. These are children. 500.00 for a small little bag is alarming. Kids won’t keep it up, they are hard on things like that and it is teaching children tobe materialistic at a young age. When I have children I want them to know the value of a dollar… Times are just too hard to throw it away like this…

  • qudz104

    if i was to buy my child a designer bag, it would be a classic style that they could enjoy much later on as well. and the child would have to be old enough to be responsible for it, and should deserve/earn it. also, even if i could afford it, my child would have to go up the designer route like i did.. first nondesigner, then coach/dooney etc, and then more premium designers. none of my kids will get a gucci right off the bat, lol

  • gymanst592

    I am a 16 year old girl and have been wanting a LV speedy 30 for about 3 years now. Being the only one remotley interested in these kind of things in my family, my parents constantly tell me I’m too young and won’t like the purse in a few years but I honestly think that won’t happen. Another excuse I hear is that saving up for this bag would be a good life lesson and would be more satisfying once I got the bag. I somewhat agree with my parents here, but I work constantly at home and at work to earn money becuase most of my clothes, handbags, shoes, etc. I buy with my own money. And of course, you could stick me in a store with only one designer item in it and that item would be the one I pick subconsiously, so everything that I buy is pretty pricey. So according to my parents definition, I would be learning life lessons every time I buy something. Is it unreasonable for me to ask for this one bag?

    • Glamorous Chic Life

      You will carry that bag until the handles fall off (which they won’t of course), it is timeless and a true classic. I, like you, did not see anyone in my family with a designer bag, but I now luckily have a real lovely collection. I bought my first Louis Vuitton Noe bag when I was about 25 and now at nearly 50 I still carry it, it has stood the test of time in design and functionality. So go buy your bag sweetie, you won’t regret it!!!

  • swati

    I get the argument that if someone has money then who is to say that how they should spend it …

    …. but this just seems extreme …. buying quality stuff for your children is different from making them aware of the “brand” culture …. Already children are becoming so materialistic and well less of “children” ….

  • 19yearslater

    I got my first designer bag in high school. It was a little Dooney. I loved that bag and am saving it to give to my daughter or niece when she reaches that age.

    • AstaK.

      LOL! I really like it, the moment I saw it I wanted to get it for myself.
      It seems that values of childhood, money and welth are very carefully thought here, but how about values of nature? There are like 7 billion people here on Earth. What sort of bags you would want them to have? Something that is made of toxic plastics or something made of materials left over growing food?
      I think that the lesson of modesty and respect for consuming any sort of things for kids is far more important than just the brand. Cheap and easily broken disposable clothes and bags etc just give lesson that one doesnt have to care about materia or inviroment. Being a happy child doesnt have and shouldnt mean that one doesnt have to care about anything, like taking care of own clothes and toys. That will just upbring selfish and irresponsible individuals.
      Gucci is a great brand whos product have classic and everlasting designs. Teaching a child respect and care any material thing is worht of tomorrow. That is future.

  • barbara

    I got my first Louis vuitton bag when i was in the 4th grade from my mom as a birthday gift. I was the last one from my grade to get one. I still have it.

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