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Kind + Jugend
Sep 13-16, 2007, Cologne, Germany
 
Kind + Jugend sets the trends

Kind + Jugend is the world's largest trade fair for children's outfitting, and this year it will be a four-day event for the first time. From 13th to 16th September, exhibitors from around the world will once again be converging in Cologne to present their latest products and collections in the product segments of children's furniture, child safety seats, textile outfittings, prams, hygiene items, toys and games, and fashion for babies and toddlers.

For parents, their children's safety is the highest priority. That's why manufacturers of car safety seats are always working to improve their products. They are taking full advantage of the opportunity to promptly present their new generations of safety seats at Kind + Jugend 2007. In addition to even greater comfort and safety, the improved systems boast features including larger seat shells. The companies have by no means overlooked the importance of stylish appeal for their product lines, which display even fresher colour palettes and more durable materials. For parents seeking something extra-special, the suppliers even offer children's safety seats made with top-quality suede or leather to match the car's interior.

New concepts and travel systems
Light weight, manoeuvrability and ease of operation: These are the product features that most pram and buggy manufacturers are offering to enhance parents' mobility, which can become greater than ever thanks to new travel systems with a variety of attachments, and seat and recliner elements. Some companies, however, are considering whether increasingly lightweight materials and more portable systems are in fact comfortable and ideal for the child. Their concepts are therefore designed to ensure that the children experience the highest degrees of well-being and comfort - and hopefully to win over the parents, too. When it comes to today's "in" colour palette, the manufacturers agree that more colourful, vibrant designs are the order of the day. Pink, turquoise, orange and "techno" fabrics in combination with black dominate the colour schemes, with the traditional blue and grey tones declining in popularity.
This colour trend also applies to children's outfitting products in general. Demand is strong for fabrics, wallpapers, bedding, sleeping bags and accessories that have clear, striking colour tones, sometimes with white accents. Carry bags for nappies and children's items also reflect this trend, with intricate embroidery and floral highlights. The popular materials are, in addition to traditional cotton, easy-care fabric blends including plush, polar fleece and microfibres with added UV protection.

An emphasis on design in the children's furniture segment
The coming season will see children's rooms with a simpler feel, but a stronger emphasis on smart design. As in the other segments, the children's furniture market is shaped by a demand for quality products. Solid wood furniture remains in strong demand, particularly light-coloured beech. For more price-conscious consumers, there are products that combine solid and semi-solid wood. MDF is also an important material used in today's children's furniture. The favourite MDF colours are white and chocolate tones. Licensed design themes are once again in vogue in the children's furniture segment. Taking the current importance of language aptitude testing and the Pisa study into consideration, the manufacturers are offering playful and educational themes with a special appeal for children.

Slender-leg jeans and embroidered designs
Next season's children's fashions will feature new printing techniques. T-shirts and tops for boys and girls will be decorated with striking motifs and stripes. Slender-leg jeans are replacing baggy, loose-fitting trousers. The range of sporty polo shirts on offer is very extensive. For girls, tops with lavish embroidery worked in Lurex and other shiny materials are the height of fashion. What's more, new outfits for girls are designed to awaken a desire for femininity in fashion. Baby fashions will be less "hip" and more cute, with the emphasis on soft colours, playful floral patterns, and soft materials.

Toys and games with an educational aspect
When it comes to toys and games for babies and toddlers, the market is demanding, more than ever before, products with an educational element. Parents know that their children must have a solid education to enjoy success and well-being in life. With this in mind, they are demanding toys and games for their children that are not only entertaining but also of educational value. The toy and game manufacturers are responding to this need with an expanded range of products for all age groups. They are using high-quality materials, games that rely on sophisticated technologies and many special effects that promise lots of fun and enjoyment - without sacrificing educational effectiveness.

Further information on Kind + Jugend and the range of services available can be found at: www.kindundjugend.de