Long and amusing piece in the Lifestyle section (Section D) of the Journal explaining the deadly serious business of selecting designer clothes for middle school kids. Wear the wrong designer label and get ostracized. "The better brands you wear the more popular you are" says an 8th grader from Alberta Canada. Cool.
Funny, I don't remember designer clothes being an issue at my daughter's high school just a few years ago. The "in" fashion was "urban grunge", to the despair of parents and faculty. It was inexpensive, but the kids looked awful all the time.