Carter’s, which has been selling baby and kids clothes since Abraham Lincoln was president, is moving into new territory: Its first-ever line of maternity clothes.
Called Little Planet Mama, the new collection is made to match its Little Planet baby clothes. The Atlanta-based company designed the capsule collection of gauzy cottons and ribbed knits to carry women through pregnancy, postpartum and nursing. Items like shirtdresses, jumpsuits and lounging pants underscore how important it is for new moms to feel comfortable, with plenty of give, front closures and extra pockets.
The idea is to “celebrate moms,” says Carrie Andersen, vice president of merchandising for Little Planet by Carter’s. “The collection addresses both the traditional maternity-wear category and women’s needs in general -- styles that fit through multiple sizes, are timeless in design, and allow for family [clothes-] matching moments.”
Those photo-ops matter to many people, and the Carter’s brand already sells adult T-shirts and pajamas to match kids’ wardrobes.
Andersen says Carter’s sees plenty of opportunities in the market, despite lower birth rates. “Our mission is to serve families with young children and meet their evolving needs. We saw a need for versatile clothing options for moms that can be worn throughout the entire cycle of motherhood, and that help moms create wardrobes that evolves with them.”
The company is marketing through owned social content and e-newsletters. “We’ve seen success using these tools in the past with our customers for other collection launches such as Carter’s x Hilary Duff Fall/Spring collection,” Andersen tells Marketing Daily via email. “We expect positive responses for this collection.”
The company relaunched Little Planet, which focuses on organic and sustainable fabrics, in 2021, and extended to toddler sizing last year.
Carter’s, which also owns OshKosh B’gosh brands, sells its clothes in 1,000-plus of its stores, department stores, national chains, and specialty retailers.
For now, though, the maternity clothes will be sold digitally, helping it dodge the perennial problem of maternity clothes: Should a brand ask for shelf space in women’s clothing? Or in the baby aisle?
“Offering this collection online removes the complexity of where to house in-stores,” she says. “It also allows for beautiful cross-merchandising with our infant and toddler matching assortments.”