The iconic SpongeBob SquarePants is taking the fashion world by storm. Known for his adventures and antics with friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob appears to have set his sights on a new venture for fashion domination which I had the pleasure of discovering, on 18th February 2017, at an exclusive event to launch a year-long SpongeBob international campaign. The timing could not have been better for the launch. London Fashion Week AW17 was in full swing while SpongeBob was going for Gold at The Store Studios, 180 Strand – the new BFC show space – as part of an innovative collaboration with six international designers: Peter Jensen, Bobby Abley, Salar, Maria Francesca Pepe, Suecomma Bonnie and Bad Denim.
VIP guests, as well as avid fans of SpongeBob Square Pants, were in attendance to celebrate The Spongebob Gold fashion collection featuring 27 items. While admiring the collection, the imminence of fashion characterised by cartoon characters crossed my mind which, to my knowledge, has not been implemented in as much depth as the SpongeBob Gold fashion collaboration. In comparison to current fashion trends, I think original creative thinking is paving the way for a non-conventional, fashion movement that could influence a refreshing wave of brand new trends. Further to this, Nickelodeon International and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) have cleverly transformed a hero from the sea into a fashion influencer on land. Charlotte Castillo, SVP of brand management and creative for Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products says “…What makes this collection special is the way each designer has incorporated SpongeBob into their trademark style. By bringing SpongeBob into their world and incorporating the element of gold, our collaborators have created beautiful items, unlike anything we have seen before.”
Although each designer showcased their individual design aesthetic, as part of the SpongeBob Gold Collection, what they all have in common is their love for SpongeBob. Peter Jensen, known for his use of colour and print in addition to his signature rabbit motif says “I have watched SpongeBob for as long as I can remember, he is part of my Saturday morning ritual in the same way a boiled egg with salt is.” Italian-born jewellery designer Maria Francesca Pepe says that “I developed an exclusive capsule collection of jewellery based on SpongeBob’s variety of super cute facial expressions, so you could wear your mood as a charm.”
Bad Denim offered a glimpse of their quirky designs. The brand has a reputation for customising the best denim brands from around the world including Vintage Levi and Wrangler. Creative director, Erin Fridja says “SpongeBob is a yellow square of positivity…I knew instantly that I wanted to incorporate my favourite part of the show’s theme song – ‘He lives in a pineapple under the sea’ into my designs.”
Bobby Abley launched his namesake label of contemporary menswear in 2012. “It is such an honour to work with a lifelong hero of mine, the one, and only SpongeBob, as I say, I’m excited my bear and SpongeBob are finally meeting. I’ll SpongeBob your SquarePants!”
Salar Bicheranloo and Francesca Monaca who make up creative duo Salar showcased a stunning bag collection at the event. “…We LOVE SpongeBob for many reasons…but mainly because he cooks the best Krabby patties!”
Overall, SpongeBob has won the hearts of many on a global scale. He put a smile on my face like a little girl with a pocket full of sweets. I could not agree more with Suecomma Bonnie who founded her brand in 2003 – Korea’s first luxury shoe brand. “There’s something about SpongeBob that makes everyone smile!” Says Bonnie Lee. “That’s why I love him. I wanted to create something special to celebrate his heart of gold.”