By Katie Little, Special to CNBC NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- The clothes may be small, but designers are betting on big business as they launch childrenswear brands. On Thursday, Diane von Furstenberg became the latest designer to venture into children's fashion as her signature wrap dresses and prints hit the racks at Gap Kids ( GPS) and Baby Gap in miniature sizes. Ranging from $20 to $120, the pieces went on sale at U.S. stores today and will be available internationally on March 28.
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Although the designer brands are focusing on innovation in their collections, at the retail level, consumers can expect to see classic colors, plaid, tweed and corduroy, wrote Lorna Hall, a senior retail analyst at WGSN, in an e-mail. "At retail, most companies are still playing (it) safe with very commercial prints, colors, themes and silhouettes," Hall said. "The retailer bucking this trend is J.Crew with bright colorways, fashion-forward silhouettes and fabric developments for Crew Cuts." Parents pay a premium for these fashion-forward designer collections. Prices at the show ranged from $30 for a T-shirt to $800 for a jacket, Rizzo said. Parabiago mentioned that purchasing luxury childrenswear is often a "status symbol" for parents. "They prefer to spend for the children than for themselves," she said. "Now, the top spenders pay a lot of attention to childrenswear." In addition to the U.S. and Italy, luxury children's fashion is especially popular in Russia and China, she said. To cater to this trend, Vogue Bambini is written in both English and Italian and has launched apps in Chinese and Russian for parents in emerging markets. "A lot of the time now, you see parents having kids at an older age so they're a little bit more further in their careers -- a little bit more established -- so they have money to spend," Rizzo said. "Maybe it's their only child because they're not planning to have another kid." Although faltering consumer confidence and economic downturns can decrease adult retail sales, children's fashion is usually not affected as much by adverse conditions, she added. "Children's fashion -- it's an interesting business because kids are constantly growing so they need clothes as opposed to parents who can say, 'You know what -- I'm going to resurrect this. I'm going to bring this back next season and wear it again,'" Rizzo said. "But kids grow out of their clothes. They constantly need new clothes." --Written by Katie Little at CNBC.