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Clothing April, 7 2014

A Perfect Match | 5 Cartoon x Fashion Brand Collaborations

Collaborations come and go and in the past few years the market has become so saturated with partnerships that many lose their appeal before they’re even unveiled. Oft is the case with collaborations between fashion brands and cartoons or comics, as often it is hard to toe the line between wearable items and coming off looking like the ultimate comic book fanboy. However, every once in a while a pairing comes along that alerts our attention and has us thinking the two are a match made in heaven.

This is usually the case when a fashion brand captures the real essence of a cartoon, feeling like it was made for the characters, either as something they would wear themselves or matching their attitude. Whether it’s A Bathing Ape x Peanuts’ dedication to classic Americana, or Supreme x Popeye’s tough street outlook, these five collaborations feel true to both the brands and cartoons, making for some strong collections that are just as impressive today as when they were launched. Check out all five below.

A Bathing Ape x Peanuts

Only just unveiled this week, Japanese streetwear brand A Bathing Ape and quintessential American comic strip Peanuts have finally joined forces on a rather large capsule collection of clothing and accessories. Seemingly an odd fit at first, the pairing actually makes perfect sense when you consider Japanese brands and particularly BAPE’s knack for all things Americana. From a reinterpretation of Charlie Brown’s iconic yellow T-shirt with black zig-zag, to BAPE’s ubiquitous round cushions which could easily be a bed for Snoopy, the collection is a perfect pairing for the two not-so-unlike brands.

See the full collection here.

Converse x The Simpsons

It’s only fitting that The Simpsons‘ first footwear collaboration was with the equally long-running and iconic Converse All Star Chuck Taylor sneaker. Worn by multiple characters in the show – although with slight changes due to copyright – the punk shoe of choice is seen on the feet of our favorite delinquents including Bart, Otto Mann, and the bullys Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney. Converse has since released a few more versions since the initial collab last year, and admittedly they’re perhaps a little too colorful to be worn by these cast members but nonetheless the shoe and its significance remains the same.

See the full collection here.

Soulland x Babar 

First introduced by Jean de Brunhoff in his 1931 book Histoire de Babar, Soulland was the first menswear brand licensed to use the original artwork of the famed elephant. Consisting of several T-shirts, short and long-sleeve button-ups, sweatshirts, and shorts, the range came in a subtle white, marl grey, and black color palette with Babar-appropriate mint green and red accents. Known for their refined streetwear, Soulland was the perfect brand to bring Babar’s dapper style to life, with the Danish brand’s classy button-ups feeling like a 21st-century version of his iconic green suit.

See the full collection here.

COMME des GARCONS x Matt Groening “Binky & Sheba PLAY”

Although better known for creating The Simpsons, Matt Groening’s comic strip Life in Hell, which began in 1977, provided a dry look at the life of a depressed rabbit named Binky, his ex-girlfriend Sheba, and their group of misfit friends. Having achieved a cult following during its 25-year tenure, the comic touched on subjects of love, work, and death, and showcased a darker side of Groening’s humor. Fittingly, the writer created a limited edition capsule collection featuring the Binky & Sheba characters for the suitably quirky COMME des GARCONS PLAY brand. The collection teamed CdG PLAY’s chic but fun T-shirts with Binky & Sheba’s curious statements, resulting in a satirical collection that both Binky and Sheba would gladly wear, if they wore clothing.

See the full collection here.

Supreme x Popeye

The streetwear giant collaborated with the muscly sailor back in 2010 and it is still one of the strongest collaborative releases from the brand. Both Supreme and Popeye embody a tough, street smart outlook, with a focus on functional, uniform-like apparel. While Supreme’s frequent lineup of military jackets, hoodies, tees, and caps aren’t exactly in line with Popeye’s sailor uniform, the similarities come in the form of rough-and-tumble clothes that will get you through any situation. If Popeye would ever go sans sailor suit, we imagine he’d definitely be wearing Supreme’s basic white tee, marl grey hoodie, spinach green M-65 jacket, and, of course, a black wool beanie.

See the full collection here.

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