The merger of anime and fashion has such a long history; even before all the designers started being fascinated by manga and anime, the Japanese anime industry was constantly looking up to Parisian luxury brands to seek inspiration. Sailor Moon’s creator, Naoko Takeuchi, significantly drew inspiration from designer brands like Chanel, Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Mugler, and others while creating the costumes for her heroines. The clothing that Takeuchi incorporated into her fantastical world was not only powerful for its time but also had a massive impact on manga’s hold over fashion trends in the 1990s.
The influence of anime on high-end brands is undeniable; every year, we notice a luxury brand introducing a fashion line inspired by a particular anime series. Remember how Loewe’s website crashed when they unveiled their full-fledged collection inspired by Studio Ghibli movies? Keeping up with this fail-proof phenomenon, here are some of the major fashion collaborations and trends that have emerged in recent time.
1. Sailor Moon and Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo has finally launched their much-awaited limited shoe collection that represents some of the most beloved Sailor Moon characters to honour the anime’s 30th anniversary. Our butt-kicking heroine’s boots have always been a major trendsetter, luxury houses are finally taking notice. The initial five Senshi who appear in the first Dark Kingdom arc of the series are Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus; these are the five Sailor Senshi who are featured in this anniversary collection. Owing to its popularity, this collection is already sold out on their website.
2. Astro Boy and MSCHF
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Unless you’re living under a rock, there’s no way you’ve missed these comically large red boots as they are everywhere on the Internet. Creating another viral moment, MSCHF is cashing on the anime element in fashion through these viral boots. Any anime fan can see through the exact resemblance to the anime Astro Boy, and it’s safe to say that the brand has generated enough curiosity to nab the pair even before its official release.
3. Spy x Family and Dior
While other collaborations might be physically available for humans, this Spy x Family and Dior collaboration is a virtual treat from Tatsuya Endo. Dior as a brand is not new to collaborations with entertainment products outside the fashion sector in Japan—back in 2021, the luxury house even signed an agreement with the author of the manga Tetsuya Endo. The deal was signed to promote a new line of makeup products and a handbag belonging to their spring/summer 2021 collection and it saw the participation of Endo and Cocomi Kimura, who is a flautist and a model. Among other things, the model posed for a series of shots wearing Dior products, which were inspired by some manga illustrations depicting the manga’s co-protagonist Yor Forger.
4. Studio Ghibli and Loewe
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For all Studio Ghibli fans, this year was bittersweet as LOEWE presented their final Studio Ghibli collab, a range based on the film Howl’s Moving Castle. LOEWE, whose Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro collections were undeniably successful, concluded its Studio Ghibli chapter with a collection of accessories and clothing inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s award-winning animated film Howl’s Moving Castle (2004).
When LOEWE’s Spirited Away collaboration dropped in January 2022, frantic fans crashed the brand’s website, making obtaining a No Face wallet or Chihiro handbag nearly impossible. Items from the collection later surfaced on resale websites for ultra-inflated figures.
5. Doremon and Gucci
For the Chinese New Year in 2021, Gucci created a Doraemon X Gucci capsule collection that featured the manga cat robot on bags, t-shirts, and other items. Anime and manga creation, which represents decades of innovation infused with Japanese tradition is just as precise and beautiful as clothing design. The meeting point of the two, which combines sumptuous luxury with accessible art, is natural but subtle.
6. Pokémon and Converse
The Pokémon and Converse collaboration’s minimalistic twist on the anime sneakers grabbed everyone’s attention. Four pairs of Converse All-Star Chuck Taylors were created specifically for this collaboration to represent the now-famous classic Pokémon: Pikachu, Eevee, Piplup, and Mewtwo. Each pair of Chuck Taylors had a tongue tab with a pixelated game character based on a primary colour from the Pokémon design. A little textbox displaying the character’s name, height, weight, and Pokédex code that was situated behind the heel and resembled a Pokemon card was another significant component.
7. Akira and Supreme
To develop a special collection based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1982 manga series Akira, Supreme collaborated with the Japanese artist. Akira’s cyberpunk dystopia and teenage alienation in one of the most significant manga of the 1980s are largely recognised as having introduced manga and anime to the West. The drop included several iconic Supreme accessories in addition to a Fishtail Parka, Work Jacket, Coveralls, Jacquard Long Sleeve Top, Soccer Top, two Hooded Sweatshirts, a Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt, four Short Sleeve T-Shirts, a Long Sleeve T-Shirt and a 5-Panel Hat.
A notable mention to Dame Vivienne Westwood, who has massively inspired the anime world with her path-breaking creative force.
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Also, read our 5 comfort anime movie recommendations.