I first noticed Soulland about 8 months ago when people were snapping photos of their S/S13 collection at the Jacket Required show. Presenting elaborately-embroidered crewnecks alongside shirting and other constructed garments in muted tones, lots of people were taking pics and letting us know they were the ones to watch next season.
Upon release of the collection in question, the response was as expected, and Soulland have just announced a neat little collaboration that puts a light-hearted spin on the brand’s otherwise restrained style.
Jean de Brunhoff created Babar the Elephant in 1931 and the English language version was introduced by A. A. Milne in 1933. He has since become one of the most beloved children’s characters of the 20th century, his little green suit and crown recognisable to any fan, young or old.
Soulland are the first label to license Babar’s image so, as well as being a new and original idea, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right – we’re all for seeing our favourite characters in different mediums, but don’t fuck with our childhood! Previous collections like LUKER by NBHD’s Felix the Cat collection and Supreme’s capsule for Popeye were tastefully done and did well to integrate the brand’s identity into the clothes without embellishing upon the character at all, but other instances such as A Bathing Ape x Transformers or any of CLOT’s Disney efforts (fuck Edison Chen) show that it really does take more than just putting a cartoon on some cotton.
Babar is pretty close to my heart – I remember reading his books with my Mum when I was a little one and along with Spot the Dog this is delicate territory for me. With a sigh of relief, it’s easy to say that this collection is slick, tasteful, and very wearable.
Comprising a mix of t-shirts, shirting, crewneck sweaters and swimming trunks, a mixture of original Babar graphics are used, the most prominent being a repeating pattern interspersed with images of Babar and his trademark accessories. A simple colour palette of black and white allows Brunhoff’s artwork to do the talking, and the mixture of long-sleeves, short-sleeves and trunks (hur hur) ensure you can wear a bit of Babar whatever the weather.
The collection will be available from April following a launch at Colette, Paris. Select stores across the world will receive the collection and the pleasure in the UK is handed to Goodhood. Register for the store’s newsletter or check back at the website regularly for up-to-date information.
Thanks to Selectism for the images