The kidswear market, brand collaborations and the power of nostalgia

brand collaborations

A recent visit to the Brand Licensing Europe trade show held at London’s Olympia earlier this month revealed the growing impact of nostalgia when it comes to new product offerings. It’s clear that 80s & 90’s licensed properties are continuing to expand their demographic and breadth of product. Licensing brands are working harder to reach out and cement themselves within the psyche of the aging Millennial and their offspring, so a key focus has become developing a wide-ranging inclusive property that can be all things to all people, whether aspirational or ironic, the tightrope is finely tuned and expertly curated.

Think the longevity of Starwars and you’re on the right track; the introduction of Rey the female lead character in the most recent release has opened a huge new avid fan base for the franchise and countless opportunities for further growth within licensing, check out these fantastic boots by Po Zu to grasp the scope.

Brands are exploring beyond their usual demographic by tapping into the hot kidult collab culture happening right now, we only need to look at the recent Vans x Peanuts collaboration and the launch of the Hypekids style platform to verify this growing area.

S/S18 fashion week saw Moschino adorn outfits with Hasbro top property MY LITTLE PONY as creative director Jeremy Scott presented a see-now-buy-now capsule collection using the original ponies from the 1980s as well as introducing a few new ponies for the occasion. This quirky catwalk presence also doubled up as great exposure for the new movie (just released) cleverly elevating the property above many of their airtime competitors.

Cartoon Network has also tapped into this option by choosing to team up with Fydor Golan and the 90s hit Powerpuff girls, launching a see-now-buy-now collection. The collection cleverly includes an irresistible ‘mom and me’ matching sweater together with comprehensive 360 multi channel website coverage.

As we turn to an increasingly screen based existence, familiar childhood characters that move with technology onto multi-channel platforms, into our wardrobes, on to our bedspreads and into our theme parks  are a must-have. These familiar characters reimagined on products and through experiences evoke the feeling of comfort and nostalgia, irresistible emotions during periods of uncertainty and change.

So what’s next? The new conversation across BLE for the bigger licensing brands is how to approach inclusivity without compromising brand identity. A big question, but one that without a doubt will be addressed and achieved in seasons to come.

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