From Hello Kitty to Barbie, luxury brands have taken our childhood toys and turned them into fashionable looks.
Fashion designers take inspiration from numerous sources, from natural elements to man-made technology. Appealing to our nostalgia for our childhood, more collections inspired by toys have been popping up recently.
As if longing for those simpler, more innocent years, these designs are often playful and whimsical. Heal your inner child with these collections that bring back some of our earliest memories.
Thom Browne’s “Teddy Talk”
For his autumn winter 2022 show in New York City, American fashion designer Thom Browne created a collection that was an ode to toys. Models also walked down a runway surrounding an audience of 500 teddy bears.
Divided into two sections, the first half of the show featured tailored looks representing the “adult” versions of their more playful counterparts. The second half featured designs that were dramatized versions of the first half.
With oversized puffy coats, handbags that looked like toy dogs and blocks, and tons of teddy bear themed elements, the designer successfully brought childhood memories to life in an unexpected way.
Blumarine’s collaboration with Hello Kitty
Italian fashion brand Blumarine’s collaboration with Hello Kitty was a throwback to Y2K fashion. The limited-edition capsule collection featured faux fur-trimmed cardigans, micro skirts, pink denim flares, and fluffy handbags.
The cartoon cat’s iconic face is imprinted on every piece, embroidered on sweaters and even as belt buckles. “Hello Kitty is an icon of my generation and fully represents the 2000s aesthetic to which I have been referring since the beginning of my path at Blumarine,” said Blumarine’s creative director Nicola Brognano.
Balmain partners with Barbie
Ahead of the release of the Barbie movie, Balmain partnered with Mattel to create a collection inspired by the most popular doll of all time. The collection’s main color was pink of course, with creative director Olivier Rousteing designing the palette to include the softest shades as well as the stronger tones.
Balmain’s signature silhouettes met the Barbie universe’s familiar bright iconography. “This collection also rejects any arbitrary gender limitations—this is an almost 100% unisex collection. For, just as today’s Barbie makes clear, there’s nothing holding us back anymore,” said Rousteing.
Loewe meets Polly Pocket
Another toy by Mattel, Polly Pocket dolls are known for their miniature size and rubbery clothes. Loewe’s fall winter 2023 collection features pieces inspired by “the slip-on wardrobe of Polly Pocket with playful 3D molded leather silhouettes.”
The smoothly-sculpted pastel pieces look like they came straight from the toy box. To promote the collection, the Spanish luxury brand tapped Filipino TikTok influencer Mathilda Airlines to show off the new pieces in their own unique way.
Banner image via Instagram @thombrowne.