Fashion icons: From Betty Boop to Nicopanda

Every generation has its icons, especially when it comes to fashion. And here, the topic is not about real people, but more about Animated & Cartoon characters. It is funny to see that every 20 years, more or less, there is a new fashion “doll” that becomes very trendy and even for some of them, Brands get into partnerships and more.

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1930 – Betty Boop, Sexiest of all !

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Betty Boop was created by Max Fleischer in 1930 for the Paramount Studios. She is considered by many as the first glamourous and sex symbols on animation and despite of a very short “film” career, the character remained very popular until today.

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During the years, the character of Betty Boop remained alive thanks to comic books (especially in the 80′s) and today, it is a fashion icon and there is even an international Betty Boop festival in the USA. She continues inspiring many fashion designers around the world on the nostalgia trend. check here the official website: http://bettyboop.com  .

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1950 – Snoopy, the first generation icon

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Snoopy is one of the main characters of the animation series Peanuts, created by Charles M. Schulz. Despite the fact it was not the main character of the series, it became by far the most iconic one. It is also one of the most recognizable cartoon icon in the world. Here the official website: http://www.peanuts.com  .
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In years, fashion and design took over Snoopy by bringing him to the rank of iconic.

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1959 – Barbie, the fashionista of all.

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Created by Ruth Handle in 1959, Barbie is the fashion doll by definition. It inspired millions of young girls and became an icon for several generations. Mattel, the company commercializing the doll since the beginning, described it as “Teen age fashion model”. And the iconic symbol was set.

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Many fashion designers were inspired by Barbie and there was even some exhibitions . For the 50th anniversary of Dior’s New Look, in 1997, a special Barbie Doll was produced with a New Look clothes by Dior.
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Or more recently, in 2009, Karl Lagerfeld did an exhibition about Barbie, called Barbie and Ken. It was the Colette Trend store. I was a series of photographies in which Barbie was the doll wearing Chanel outfits and Ken was a real male model. For more information, here is the official Barbie website: http://www.barbie.com .

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1972 – The Blythe, a pure fashion doll

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This doll was created in 1972 by Allison Katzman and marketed in the USA for the first time. They are 28cm high and have huge heads and eyes compared to the rest of the body. You can also change the color of their eyes by pulling a string. Unfortunately, a big lack of interest took them out from the market only one year after the launch. It was only in 2001 that a Japanese company, Takara, relaunched the dolls and today it is a big hit. There are dolls networks of fans. They create several outfits and shoes and share thousands of pictures of their creation.

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As this Doll was relaunched from Japan, it got linked to all the Tokyo urban style, from Kaway to Shibuya 109. Many fashion designers also integrated this doll into their catwalks as reference for design and trend. For the official website, it is here: http://www.blythedoll.com

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1974 – Hello Kitty and cats have never been so trendy

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Japan is definitely the new creative place. If New York and Paris were the places for all trends since the after-second-world-war until the 80, Tokyo became the new capital for Design, Fashion, urban culture and more. Hello Kitty is more than a cartoon character, it is a brand.

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Designed firstly by Yuko Shimizu, a Japanese designer and rapidly exploited by the company Sanrio, Hello Kitty represents today a 5 billion dollar annual business. Not only pre-adolescences but also adults represent the customers for Hello Kitty. From cheap accessories, to television, video games, restaurants, bars, shops, planes and jewelry, Hello Kitty is everywhere. Fashion designers used the iconic japanese kitty to illustrate a young and trendy fashion. Here is the official website: http://www.sanrio.com

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1987 – Fido Dido, king of cool

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Fido Dido was created by 2 women, Joanna Ferrone and Sue Rose in 1987. It became quite popular thanks to T-shirts sold by hundreds in New York. The t-shirts had a tag line that made part of the success of the cartoon character: “Fido is for Fido, Fido is against no one”. So suddenly it became the king of cool.

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Fido Dido character is also used since the 80′s by the Pepsi’Co group and is the ambassador for 7Up. This helped the character to be part of the skater grunge community as a logo. No more TV ads are played but you can still find Fido Dido on the 7Up cans worldwide. Here is the official website for Fido Dido: http://www.fidodido.com .

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2011 – Nicopanda, by fashion people to fashion people.

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Andrea and Nicola Formichetti invented Nicopanda. A panda bear that looks like Nicola Formichetti. According to the creator’s story, as Nicola is half-Japanese, his friends used to call him Nicopanda. They kept the name and made a fashion icon. Very strong in Japan, USA and Europe, Nicopanda tends to become the biggest fashion symbol as a cartoon.

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After opening Nicopanda’s stores in the USA and in Japan, Nicopanda enjoys a good press coverage as its creators are well invested into the fashion business.

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Nicopanda became so big that it even started collaborations with Hello Kitty  or being very provocative with the Fuck Fashion operation.

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You can see here the nicopanda tumblr: http://nicopandanation.tumblr.com 
or the online store here: http://nicopandastore.com

When fashion people are not the only fashion icons, a lot of creativity are deployed.

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Info sourced at the respective brands websites and wikipedia. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. 

 

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