Gucci and Fendi are launching their first full children’s collections, entering a sector that has weathered the global downturn better than others.

Gucci presented its Gucci Kids line at its historical Firenze boutique during the Pitti Bimbo international childrenswear fair last week.

The line, aimed at children from newborn to age eight includes shoes, dresses, accessories and sunglasses created by Gucci star designer Frida Giannini.

Historical family fashion house Fendi, owned by French luxury group LVMH, had already presented an incomplete line for babies and is now fielding a collection designed by Fendi heiress Silvia Venturina Fendi at Pitti.

The collection is a partnership with Italian company Simonetta, which has already worked in the past with designer Roberto Cavalli on children lines.

As the economic downturn bit hard into luxury apparel and fashion spending throughout 2009, childrenswear was not spared, but it weathered the crisis better than others and perspectives for growth seem to be pointing up.

In a downturn, “adults are likely to give up spending on clothes for themselves before they give up buying for children,” Michelle Strutton, a senior analyst at research firm Mintel told AFP.