Who wasn’t into Pokémon, Naruto and even Dragon Ball Z back in the days? Anime has been part of our youth in the great nineties and nillies and we’ve now entered a new era for ‘Japanimation’. Big streetwear brands are collaborating with well-known anime characters such as Hello Kitty and it’s not that big of a surprise. The colorwork in anime, it’s a vibe.
2018 started off with a major sneaker collaboration for the diehard sneaker- and anime collectors. Adidas teamed up with Dragon Ball Z for a special collection of chunky sneakers based on characters of the throwback time, animation series we used to watch in the nineties and nillies. Although many sneaker fanatics were disappointed when seeing the collection and colorways, Adidas might have started a new trend.
The future and the past
Streetwear brands have always been obsessed with Japan and the fantastic fashion world in Tokyo. Supreme has been doing collaborations with Japanese artists for a couple of years now. In 2015 an NSFW collab with hentai master Toshio Maeda dropped and was all over the streetwear news sites. Although Supreme has been doing it for years, it might become a trend just now. Last week, Adidas dropped another anime-inspired collection with Hélas.
And it’s not over yet. Next to Adidas, Puma revealed their Hello Kitty collaboration last week for the female influencers worldwide. Hello Kitty has been popular in the nillies. Since the girls who were into the white-pink kitten are all grown up now, it’s time for big brands to work with the anime character. Puma’s centerpiece of the collection is the red-white suede classic sneaker. The popular Sanrio character even has her own tracksuit with Puma now.
Japanimation and nostalgia
Next to big brands collaborating with anime, there are a few brands who are inspired by anime without really collaborating with them. Next to well-known Bathing Ape, Sumibu is one of them. The Dutch-based streetwear brand grew out of hip-hop collective SMIB. GRGY, producer and designer of the collective, started the clothing line. GRGY has an obsession with Japan in general and has the Japanimation culture running through his veins and streetwear designs.
Streetwear brands have been collaborating with anime since the mid-nineties. But 2018 might just be the year it gets bigger and becomes a trend. As the nineties have already taken over our fashion sense of today and tomorrow, anime fits perfectly into that same category. The color blocking, the typical drawing style and the way of showing facial expressions. Just a few things that make the vibe of anime. Fashion these days is all about nostalgia, and it’s exactly that what makes us buy anime crossovers with streetwear.
Photo credit: Puma, Sumibu lookbook, Highsnobiety