Whether it be their shining crystal-esque eyes, performative character, or adorable sayings, there’s something about anime that permits the storylines and their characters to live in our hearts rent-free. The popular Eastern art of anime and manga has garnered a large fanbase over the years that the fashion industry has taken note of. Getting creative with their collections and collaborations, fashion has turned its attention to the youthful spirit of anime incorporating elements of the art that bring a playful feel while tapping into a younger audience.
Most recently, Spanish fashion house Loewe’s Creative Director Jonathan Anderson showed its appreciation by collaborating with the Japanese Studio Ghibli for Loewe X My Neighbor Totoro. The film studio is responsible for distributing the Japanese film by Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro (1988). The film is about two siblings, Mei and Satsuki, who encounter a cute woodland friend known as Totoro. Loewe and Studio Ghibli make the perfect duo in bringing to light the house’s playful attitude including a range of ready-to-wear accessories that draw upon the elements of nature that originated in the anime film classic.
However, fashion’s relationship with anime is one that has grown over time only recently coming to a head. Arguably the first brand to break the barrier between fine art and commercial luxury style was Marc Jacobs reign at Louis Vuitton when he first hired infamous Japanese Pop artist Takashi Murakami in an effort to revamp the house for their Spring/Summer 2003 runway.
Incorporating his own colorful eye, the first of many collaborations resulted in a rainbow-field redesign of the classic Louis Vuitton monogram known as Monogram Multicolore. The style took became a staple of the era and was spotted on celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, and Madonna. The first collection was well received, and the Murakami and Jacobs continued in releasing co-designed pieces. Delving deeper into a kawaii style, Murakami’s iconic cartoon Cherry Blossom soon followed on the pochette and speedy. Murakami became the accessory frenzy for Louis Vuitton with a collaboration history stretching over twelve years until Nicolas Ghesquière’s appointment as creative director in 2015. Despite the break off, the second-hand luxury market is booming with lovers of Louis Vuitton and Murakami.
Known for translating a unique outlook of day-to-day life into his work, creative director of Balenciaga Demna Gvasalia unveiled their collaboration with Hello Kitty at the Spring/Summer 2020 men’s collection at Paris Fashion Week. The Ville bag came in white, pink, and purple with shoelaces as whiskers and a vibrant red leather bow. During the runway presentation, the house styled the bag on various looks for both men and women shattering the notion that the Sanrio favorite is a typically feminine character. Depicted on phone holders, wallets, and camera bags, the house made Hello Kitty the unisex character in fashion we didn’t know we needed.
The Italian fashion house Gucci jumped on the manga and anime train with it’s collaboration with One Piece anime series creator, Eiichiro Oda. Main characters Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro sport the newest Gucci Fall/Winter 2020 collection for Gucci’s lookbook. Shifting away from the traditional cookbook format, Gucci gets creative in creating keepsake memorabilia for Gucci and anime fans alike.
The luxury market finds its appeal by collaborating with creatives for their longstanding value. Typically produced in limited quantity, the more desirable a particular character is, the more demand there is for a particular accessory making them sell for the same or double the value in the resale market. This benefits the fashion industry as a whole for sustaining an ecological approach to producing less while maintaining the luxury standard of exclusivity. Moreover, the embrace of our favorite kawaii and anime characters in fashion not only draw attention to the rich Japanese heritage of the art form, but also incorporates a fanbase that appeals to more than just the fashion obsessed.
The Loewe x My Neighbor Totoro collection is now available to shop online.
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createdAt:Fri, 08 Jan 2021 22:26:39 +0000
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