The Dutch fashion duo Viktor and Rolf have launched a buggy dubbed “My First Car” with the pushchair brand Bugaboo, in unisex taupe and grey, complete with silver hubcaps, faux-leather handlebar and sunshade and mock number plate.
When it comes to choosing a set of wheels for their progeny, pushchair makers and salesmen say more and more young fathers are in the driving seat, explaining the shift by a simple equation, buggy = wheels = car = male.
“There’s a design and a brand positioning that can appeal to men,” confirmed Vital Ledru, account manager in France for Bugaboo. “It’s all about suspensions, tyre-types, braking systems – stuff dads can relate to.”
“You’ve got your three-wheeler, your city buggy, your all-terrain or limo: it’s an area men feel competent about,” summed up Dann Haccoun, who runs Paris’ largest buggy store and does most of his business on Saturdays, “when working dads are free to come shopping”.
“Over the past four, five years, men have got a lot more involved.”
With celebrity dads including David Beckham, Matt Damon and Coldplay’s Chris Martin all snapped in recent years pushing this or that high-end stroller, today’s brands are very much created with men in mind.
The dad-friendly design trend extends to accessories, too.
Take the change bag, the capacious sack designed to be strapped to the buggy when out and about and stuffed with everything from bottles, nappies and a parent’s purse to personal effects.
“We didn’t design a change bag as such – it’s more of a modern carry-all,” said Bugaboo’s Ledru.
Sleek and minimalist, and available in black leather, “it’s designed to be unisex – veering towards masculine. So it has a computer compartment, as well as pockets for bottles and changing wipes”.
“I’m a dad myself – and when I take my daughter out on the weekend I don’t want to be hauling a flowery bag around,” adds Ledru. – AFP
To find out more about “My First Car” visit Bugaboo.com.