It wasn’t just the metaverse that caught his attention. Here’s how the fashion industry is falling more and more in love with manga.

After Gucci, which has already explored this universe dear to millennials and Generation Z, and more recently the streetwear brand GCDS, which paid homage to “One Piece”, it’s Burberry’s turn to tap into this form of Japanese comic strip with, not a collection, but a real manga dedicated to one of its emblematic bags.

The fashion industry has never hesitated to venture into uncharted territory, quite the contrary. Art of course, but also design, gastronomy, football or even motor sports are all areas that regularly inspire ready-to-wear and couture collections. Recently, it is the world of video games – linked to the emergence of the metaverse – which has inspired many designers, who have collaborated with titles such as “Fortnite”, “Animal Crossing”, “Pokemon Go” and “League of Legends”. If fashion has not given up on making a place for itself in these new virtual worlds, it now also seems to be turning to a new passion: manga.

How the Fashion Industry Falls in Love with Manga

A growing market worldwide

The world of manga is no stranger to the world of fashion, with brands like Uniqlo regularly releasing collections based on world-famous titles. In the luxury sector, Gucci has also occasionally offered capsules around famous people, and even teamed up with designer Hirohiko Araki for an advertising campaign several years ago. But in recent months, interest in these Japanese comics seems to have increased.

Indeed, manga is growing in popularity almost everywhere, such as in the United States, with manga sales more than doubling in that market in 2021. According to data presented by ICv2, using NPD data, some 24.4 million manga were purchased in the United States in 2021, up 15 million units from 2020. Those numbers are enough to turn heads and attract attention. Warning. And it works, since the last house to have collaborated with a mangaka or manga artist is none other than Burberry, which can now boast of having an entire comic strip dedicated to its iconic Lola Bag.

A character based on a bag

The brand’s Lola Bag is already a star whose fame goes far beyond borders. After launching a virtual collection in its name on Roblox, the British brand is promoting it on the Japanese comic scene, and in a very stylish way. In collaboration with Tsubasa Yamaguchi, the mangaka behind “Blue Period”, the Lola Bag is transformed into a real seine net character, with adventures alongside the two heroes of the original work, Yatora and Ryuji. Available in paper format in selected Burberry stores in Japan, this very special (and limited) edition is also available for free online, but only in Japanese.

This new generation partnership is the latest between the worlds of fashion and manga. It comes after a series of recent similar collaborations between GCDS and “One Piece” and Dolce & Gabbana and Jujutsu Kaisen, showing a real passion in the fashion (and luxury) industry for these Japanese comics.

This story was published via AFP Relaxnews.