This year 2022 has seen a surge of luxury fashion brands collaborating with Japanese anime and manga to bring limited-edition collections. Anime otaku may remember the Coach X Michael B Jordan X Naruto collab back in 2019. In 2020, following in Coach’s footsteps Longchamp decided to collaborate with Pokemon. Then, in 2021 there was the GUCCI X Doraemon collab.
These fashion labels have managed to garner attention from a completely new clientele base due to these visually striking collaborations where favorite anime and manga characters take center stage.
At the beginning of 2021, the Spanish luxury house Loewe launched a collection inspired by the anime My Neighbor Totoro. In January 2022 Loewe released another collection that was inspired by the anime Spirited Away. Upcoming collaborations and recently released collabs we’re keeping an eye on are Maje X Sailor Moon, Vans X JoJo, and more. Continue reading to see my top picks of each collection and learn which anime-inspired collections will launch in the next few months.
Maje X Sailor Moon capsule collection – Launch Date April 26, 2022
Fans of the anime Sailor Moon are counting down the days for Maje’s Spring/Summer season collection to launch. Maje’s collaboration with Sailor Moon’s main focus is on the heroine, Usagi Tsukino. Due to its popularity in the 90s Sailor Moon evokes a sense of nostalgia in female millennials. Sailor Moon along with Dragon Ball Z played a massive role in every anime fan’s childhood.
The collection will embody “girl power” and femininity by expressing the themes of love and friendship prevalent in the show. The collection takes inspiration mostly from Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon’s style, and the color palette will consist of bold pink, yellow and blue. It will feature casual ready-to-wear pieces and trendy accessories.
VANS X JOJO – Now available!
Vans has teamed up with the anime legend JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure on a Golden Wind-inspired capsule collection that celebrates Giorno Giovanna and Bruno Bucciarati. The Vans Era Pro design is basically wrapped in bright fuchsia, there are embroidered golden wings on the heel cup, decorative anime-inspired eyelet plugs, a love heart cut out and edged in gold on the tongue, and has a clean white sole that strikingly features the JoJo logo in black.
The Vans Slip-on has been transformed into a black-on-white upper with metallic gold trimming, lateral midsole tab and opt for a white sole. It also features a standout vamp zip compartment, which reveals quotes from the characters.
Both pairs feature anime-sketched insoles depicting either Giorno Giovanna or Bruno Bucciarati depending on the pair you’ve decided on. The JoJo shoes come in an anime-esque box inspired by JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and with Italian flair.
Grab your pair now at Bandai Fashion Collection.
P.S. Sneakerwolf X ASICS ‘Anarchy in the Edo Period’ will get a wider release soon!
Sandy Liang X Vans X Anime
It is worth mentioning that New York-based fashion designer Sandy Liang has partnered with Vans twice before, but in their third and most recent partnership, they launched a men’s and women’s wear, apparel, and sneaker collection that drew heavily on 90s anime nostalgia.
The collection designs feature graphics with familiar wide anime eyes, butterflies, and flowers with Saturn-like rings. Fans can’t wait to see if there will be another collaboration on the horizon between Sandy Liang and Vans.
UNIQLO UT X Mobile Suit Gundam – Now Available!
Not exactly high fashion but in high demand, UNIQLO UT’s t-shirts now feature images from the classic Mobile Suit Gundam series. The four-piece collection consists of designs of the RX-78-2 Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam, character designs (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED), illustrations of the Unicorn Gundam, and visuals from the latest Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway movie.
Visuals are printed on white, black, and wine-colored t-shirts, sporting quotes, model info and Mafty insignia embroidery.
Top picks include the Freedom Gundam t-shirt with X10ADIECI label printed on the front and a colored sketch printed on the back along with the unforgettable quote, “But what should we really be fighting against? Come with us, Athrun. We’ll search for the answer. Together.”
The Mobile Suit Gundam X UNIQLO UT collection is now available on their website.
Loewe X Studio Ghibli – January 2022
In January 2022, Loewe released the Loewe X Studio Ghibli collaboration to honor its creative director’s (Jonathon Anderson) admiration for the unique, surreal animation style brought to you by Studio Ghibli.
The Maison released notable collections inspired by the award-winning films My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Spirited Away (2001). The capsule collection features signature bags, ready-to-wear pieces, and accessories sporting cute motifs of recognizable characters from Totoro to the Soot Sprites making Loewe’s best-selling collaboration an escape into the phantasmagoric world of Studio Ghibli.
My Neighbor Totoro collection included whimsical wallets, handbags, and shirts featuring beloved Totoro, forest spirit animals, and other characters from the Hayao Miyazaki film.
Loewe creative director, Jonathan Anderson, commented that his love for the movie and the nostalgia it stirred in him inspired the collection’s development:
“There is a natural longing for heartwarming feelings right now. When I think of a movie that affords me that kind of solace, speaking just as directly as to a child as it does to an adult, that movie is My Neighbor Totoro. The story of Mei and Satsuki’s friendship with the magical Totoro and his cohorts, the mischievous dust bunnies, who can’t be seen by adults but only by the children who love them, is truly touching. It is a product of craft in the form of an animated movie.”
This year 2022 the Spanish luxury house worked on another partnership with Studio Ghibli for a Spirited Away collection, which debuted four months ago. The Spirited Away Collection includes handbags, shirts, and accessories with Chihiro, No-face, and other ghosts and spirits from the film.
GUCCI X Doraemon – Chinese New Year 2021
As part of Gucci’s Chinese New Year 2021 campaign, the Italian fashion house released a capsule collection inspired by the anime Doraemon last January, just ahead of the 2021 Lunar New Year.
Doraemon is a popular Japanese anime and manga about a traveling blue robotic cat from the 22nd Century with the same name as the series. Doraemon was a hit in the 60s and early 2000s.
The collection features the signature Gucci classic GG monogram and graphics with the cute robot cat in various poses – sleeping, eating, and just having fun, on a range of ready-to-wear pieces, including footwear and accessories.
To celebrate the year of the Ox, Doraemon is featured in disguise with two little ox-like horns. The collection has more than 50 items featuring Doraemon, including a variety of coats, jackets, track pants, and shorts.
At the same time, Gucci debuted a virtual fashion line on Pokemon Go with The North Face and players’ avatars could don t-shirts, hats, and backpacks.
Having limited-edition collections allows luxury brands like Loewe and Gucci to experiment with their products at low risk, and gain interest from an entirely new group of clientele: the anime community.
A shift is being seen as luxury brands begin to market to appeal to young people (Gen Z and Millenials). It didn’t escape their notice that they have niche interests such as anime and manga and that they’re interested in fashion brands collaborating with anime.
Longchamp X Pokemon – October 2020
In October 2020, Longchamp collaborated with the anime Pokemon for a cheerful collection. Pikachu with his distinctive yellow, red and black coloring can be spotted on the iconic Le Pliage range and silhouettes featuring backpacks to crossbody bags. There’s also a line of monochrome and monogram leather pieces sparkling with Pikachu’s electric spirit.
Coach X Michael B Jordan X Naruto, 2019-2022 (imminent release)
Michael B Jordan, Coach’s global ambassador, released his first anime collaboration in 2019. It came as no surprise to his friends that he chose his favorite anime- Naruto. The anime’s story revolves around Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who wants to become the Hokage – strongest ninja in his village.
Anime otaku and diehard Naruto fans will easily be able to recognize motifs inspired by the anime like Sharingan and Sennin eyes. The collection, which also has Naruto, Sasuke, and Itachi motifs, consists of unisex streetwear, ready-to-wear parkas, pullovers, t-shirts, footwear, and bags. The clothes are comfortable and practical – exactly what a ninja’s wardrobe should be.
Jordan is at it again with his latest collaboration with Naruto. Fans are eagerly awaiting a new sneaker design that he teased about on his Twitter account. You can read more about the Jordan x Naruto sneakers shoes by Jumpman in the link.
Psycho-Pass X Platinum Aura – April 25, 2022
Again, not high fashion but eagerly awaited is this latest collaboration. Platinum Aura’s current slogan of ‘Fun to Wear’ incorporates the idea that having anime goods in everyday life makes life more fun, and will be releasing a new collection inspired by the anime Psycho-Pass 3.
The collection will feature 7 items, including a computer case, a drawstring set with a cool design sporting the motif of a dominator, an organization name, and an anime character. The collection will be released at the World Online Store on April 25, 2022.
Sketchers X One Piece
While the global shoe and clothing company, Sketchers, might not exactly be ‘high fashion’ their collaboration with Toei Animation is worth mentioning. The partnership was first formed in 2018 and has been repeated three times. The first two collections only included One Piece sneakers, but the third and fourth collection added clothing that was released exclusively in Southeast Asia.
Each sneaker had a prominent color in its design that closely represented one of the anime’s characters. For example, when you picture Luffy you most likely picture the color red. It came as no surprise that Luffy’s sneakers featured a red and white design.
I hope this article has inspired my fellow otaku to buy some anime merchandise that will make you look ‘anime geek chic’.