the best times that fashion people made toys
Fashion is having a bit of a nursery school moment. Now that we've entered a time in which it's normal to base an entire collection around Barbie® (see: Jeremy Scott spring/summer 15), scores of designers are collaborating with iconic toy brands on...
The Rick Owens My Little Pony®
The goth vibe and moody color palettes of Rick Owens couldn't seem more removed from the innocence and cheerfulness of My Little Pony®. Hearing the "godfather of brutal chic" reinvented the toy you played with when you were in kindergarten is one unexpected nostalgia trip. The collaboration was part of a capsule collection for Italian retailer LUISAVIAROMA, auctioned off on eBay to for charity. Designers like Balmain, Versace and Fendi also created ponies, but something about Owens's trusty all-black-everything approach is especially delightful when applied to the toy's signature cuteness.
The Karl Lagerfeld Barbie®
Karl Lagerfeld is a powerful force in fashion, and no one knows that more than Karl Lagerfeld. The style authority deserves his ubiquity, but he often seems to take this into his own hands with Karl-themed everything for Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous label -- let us never forget the terrifying-yet-adorable Karlito fur monster. In 2014, Lagerfeld outdid himself by making himself a herself with Mattel. The Karl Lagerfeld Barbie® is all Barbie® in her unrealistically-shaped beauty, but she's dressed as Karl, white ponytail and all. The result is a doll with a wardrobe us real humans would envy: French-cuff shirt, Dracula-esque necklace, fingerless gloves and, of course, a quilted purse.
Moschino Eau de Toilette
As its t-shirt reminds us, Moschino's teddy bear is not a toy, but a fragrance. However, it's safe to declare that no perfume has ever looked more like a child-friendly stuffed animal. Jeremy Scott debuted the very toy-like packaging for Moschino's Eau de Toilette shortly after dedicating an entire collection to Barbie®, and he's also the man responsible for this, so it seems like the designer's just been inching closer and closer to making a full-on, straightforward toy. The fragrance comes in primary-colored packaging that would be totally at home on toy-store shelves, and has a sweet, friendly teddy-bear head one must sadistically pop off to access a spritz of the scent. Moschino's website doesn't even break down what this perfume even smells like, making it clear that the focus is on the playtime design here.
BE@RBRICK's 10 Designers Collection
Since their debut in 2001, Japanese brand Medicom's BE@RBRICK toys have garnered a cult following with blank bears that make the perfect canvases for collaborations. In 2014, the line merged with the fashion world for its 10 Designers collection, with bears designed by Kenzo, Lanvin, Carven, UNDERCOVER, Marni, Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne and White Mountaineering. Thom Browne's was dapper and suited, Lanvin's was a cheeky caricature of Alber Elbaz, and Carven's was so twee it was borderline creepy. But arguably the coolest takes were Kenzo's, covered in the brand's signature eye print, and UNDERCOVER's, who took a goth route with a blacked-out face and a rib cage print.
Visionaire's 44 TOYS
For its 44th issue, the cult magazine teamed up with ten designers to create two different sets of dolls with master of cool toys, Kidrobot. Karl Lagerfeld's predictably looked like Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino's was covered in a lovely print, Dolce & Gabbana's was dressed in lingerie. Complete with themed accessories for each character, like a phone, martini glass or camera, the toys unsurprisingly became a hot commodity and, as Visionaire's description puts it, "grown adults behaved a lot like children in attempts to get their hands on a copy."
Maison Margiela's Stacking Dolls
When Maison Margiela started making home items, they were as avant-garde as we hoped. Notebooks bound on both sides and month-less calendars were more like objets d'art. Snowglobes were empty. Margiela took aim at the the traditional charm of Russian nesting dolls and reinvented the stacking toy with clinical minimalism. Gone were dolls' typical hand-painted faces and outfits; instead, these were completely blank save for a subtle metallic sheen. They succeeded at being pops of modern art for your apartment that your niece or nephew would still want to get their hands on when they'd come over.
Muscle Man Marc
When South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone found out that Marc Jacobs had tattoos of Clyde Frog and Rumpletumskin, they paid homage to the designer by turning him into a doll belonging to Cartman, Muscle Man Marc, in 2011. Muscle Man Marc unfortunately met his demise in a pot of boiling water by the end of the episode, but Jacobs was so euphoric with joy to have been immortalized on the show that he decided to take make the toy a reality. He collaborated with South Park to create a real Muscle Man Marc doll, complete with the same smug-yet-disarming smirk and zany tats that the animated doll had. It's probably not something you'd want to snuggle with, but it was definitely an irresistibly oddball piece of the Marc Jacobs brand.
Text Courtney Iseman