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Beckham jnr a chip off the old block in fashion game

ARE You Smarter Than A Ten-Year-Old? is the title of a Sky quiz show hosted by Noel Edmonds and modelled on a US ratings success, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

Now we're having to ask Are You More Smartly Dressed than a Ten-Year-Old? after Beckham progeny Romeo (10), appeared to improve sales at designer label Burberry.

Children's role in the fashion industry is often restricted to looking cute in age-appropriate clothing – or, sadly, stitching it in sweatshops in developing countries.

But Romeo, the second child of the marriage of popstar-turned-designer Victoria Beckham and footballing hubby David, seems to have reinvented the genre of child fashion altogether when he was chosen as a Burberry model, in which role he was as much cutting-edge as cute in a Burberry trench-coat.

Whatever the implausibility of a 10-year-old shifting trench coats, the combination of Romeo's cheekbones and chutzpah helped improve sales.

Hong Kong and China led the way, with double digit growth in comparable trade across Asia Pacific and the Americas, while it saw "high single-digit" growth across Europe and the rest of its global operations.

Customer footfall in stores was disappointing – what fashion retailer doesn't have a similar story – but was offset by strong growth online.

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But pre-tax profits will still be below last year's £173m because of the high cost of bringing its perfume and cosmetic arm back in house at a cost of €181m (£156m) – though it's expected to boost profits over time.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said it was an "impressive start to the year" for the group.

"Burberry remains well regarded by consumers and investors alike," he added. Add to that an impressive showing among the tweenie demographic, thanks to Romeo, and they may have the custom of today's 10-year-olds and future fashionistas all sewn up.