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 for $495.

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