Raffles City Singapore

How Fashion Has Kept Our Childhood Alive

Find out more about fashion’s long-time relationship with animated characters.

How Fashion Has Kept Our Childhood Alive
What you can expect from Furla's collaboration with LINE Friends.Furla.

There’s a charm about old-school cartoons that we can’t help but fall for. Perhaps it’s in the way that they’re able take us down memory lane, bringing us back to a time where things were much less complex. Come to think of it, it’s hard to believe that there was a time where all it took to relax was to giggle with our siblings while witnessing Tom and Jerry pull pranks on each other on a Saturday morning. Today, it takes more effort to dissolve our worries. If it’s not downing a tipple or two at the bar, it’s punching water bags in the gym.

Needless to say, we cannot help but miss that sense of comfort whenever we come across images that feature cartoon characters from our childhood days. Simply put — it’s like bumping into an old friend.

While We Were Away

One of the many whimsical merchandise from Coach’s discontinued collaboration with Mickey x Keith Haring.Coach.

Furthermore, fresher cartoons such as Ben 10, Winx Club, and We Bare Bears have also taken over the time slots for old cartoons when we replaced our school uniforms with business suits. This begs the question: Does that spell the end of our childhood? Not really. If anything, it seems that these cartoons and animations have grown with us, thanks to the fashion industry.

Chinese supermodel Zhu Xiao Wen sporting pieces from Coach’s Mickey x Keith Haring collection for the brand’s campaign.Coach.

While streetwear has long practiced weaving cartoon characters into their threads, it is a fairly new game for players in the luxury field. Case in point? Capsule collections such as Gucci’s collaboration with Doraemon, Coach’s collaboration with Mickey x Keith Haring, and Kate Spade’s collaboration with Tom & Jerry among many others. While it’s a little sad that we hardly get to see cartoons from our childhood on the small screen these days, we appreciate that fashion has kept them alive through collaborative mergers like these. Printed tees and sweaters are one way to inject whimsical charm into your OOTD, but we personally prefer the practicality of carrying a purse or crossbody bag around instead.

Get In Line

Separately, as our love for smartphones develop, so does our love for animated phone app characters. We’re sure you’re familiar with LINE, one of the most popular messaging apps to date. As of 2020, there have been 84 million users of the app.

Sure, it may not stand on the same pedestal as WhatsApp or Facebook Chat (they have 2 billion and 1.3 billion users respectively to date). But it definitely is the cutest and most welcoming, thanks to the introduction of LINE Friends. The cartoon collective was created by Korean designer Kang Byeongmok introducing characters Brown (the bear), Cony (Brown’s rabbit girlfriend), and Sally (a chick from outer space) among others back in 2011.

Furla collaborates with LINE friends for an upcoming capsule collection.Furla.

Unlike cartoons we see on television, these characters appear on our phone screens as an extension of ourselves, expressing our thoughts and feelings through animated stickers. As long as we are communicating through LINE, these characters do not face the struggle of staying relevant the same way cartoons of our day have. But in case they do, the fashion industry has started early — through immortalizing them in apparel and accessories. Uniqlo and Swarovski have collaborated with the cartoon (the former from as early as 2015).

You will next see these characters making an appearance on Furla‘s leather goods in its upcoming collection that’s slated to be released on 5 April 2021. This is not the first time that the luxury Italian fashion label has collaborated with animated cartoons. Previously, it has worked with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars, bringing commercial success to the brand in more recent years. And we’re sure that the upcoming collaboration with LINE Friends will take the world by storm too.

From luxurious leather coin purses to crossbody bags, there’s something suitable for every occasion. Scroll through the gallery to see some of our favourite designs from the Furla × Line Friends capsule collection.

Meanwhile, check out where you can get your beauty and grooming fixes at Raffles City Singapore here.

This article is part of a 12-part series on style, art and culture, published in collaboration with Raffles City Singapore. 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore 199103; instagram.com/rafflescitysg; facebook.com/rafflescitysg/

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