This Shocking Maternity Collection for 12-Year-Olds Highlights the Suffering of Child Mothers

Charity Plan International Commissioned a Famous Finnish Designer to Create the Garments

Published On
Aug 14, 2017

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A famous Finnish fashion designer has designed a maternity wear collection for 12-year-olds, in a charity campaign to highlight the shocking reality of child mothers in the developing world. Every year in developing countries seven million children under the age of 18 become mothers.

Plan International and Finnish agency Hasan & Partners commissioned Paola Suhonen to create the collection, given the deceptively summery and cheerful brand name "Hamptons." The collection is on show on child mannequins on Esplanadi, a Helsinki street famed for its designer stores.

Suhonen designed a set of six maternity dresses with features often seen in kids' clothing: stripes, prints, fringes and soft blues with a marine feel. It appears in print ads and videos, such as the one seen here, featuring a real-life Zambian girl called Fridah who became pregnant at the age of 12. Photographer Meeri Koutaniemi, whose previous work has brought worldwide attention to female genital mutilation, is responsible for the images. You can watch a behind-the-scenes video to find out more about the project and the shoot.

Anu Niemonen, senior creative at Hasan & Partners, conceived the campaign. "Designing a maternity wear collection for young children is unnatural and disturbing, which is exactly the point we want to make," Niemonen says in a statement. "The clothes expose a shocking truth about the seven million children who become pregnant every year. This is a collection that shouldn't exist or even be needed in the first place."