Fashion statements | WildBrain CPLG explores how the post-pandemic world of licensed fashion has shifted gear

With the world beginning to reawaken and emerge from its pandemic slumber, so too is the world of fashion switching gear, slipping out of its comfy bagging clothing and back into a wardrobe designed for life outside, once again. However, notes Pau Pascual, VP Southern Europe and MD of Iberia and MENA, at WildBrain CPLG, the ever-moving fashion scene hasn’t emerged untouched by the shift in consumer sensibilities. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Here, WildBrain CPLG’s Pascual talks us through the key trends to be hitting the post-pandemic licensed fashion space.

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Last year, as with many changes brought about by the pandemic, we saw significant shifts in the world of fashion, particularly in purchasing choices. With much of the world working from home, consumers were prioritising clothing that was comfortable because this became the new daily wardrobe for many, and so there was a swing from retailers to embrace this trend and offer more in the way of casual and sportswear.

However, now with the world starting to open up again, many consumers are looking to inject freshness into their wardrobes and retailers are looking to keep their offering engaging, relevant and fun. Below are five key trends that we’re seeing in the fashion space at WildBrain CPLG, exploring how these are being adopted by brand owners: 

Varsity Back in the Spotlight 

We’ve seen varsity and US college-inspired products, both in the mass market and high-end fashion space, for many years now, but in 2021, the presence of styles that take inspiration from iconic US institutions and their merchandise – such as the baseball ‘letterman’ jackets – has really accelerated. 

There was certainly a large halo effort from Hedi Slimane’s spring ‘21 menswear collection for Celine, which included varsity jackets, along with other varsity-inspired trends, from baseball caps and high-top sneakers to sweatsuits and track shorts, that we’ve seen trickle down to the high street. This trend has also been fuelled by TV shows, such as the Gossip Girl reboot and Riverdale, that have played a key part in bringing varsity style fashion back into focus. Also, the portrayal of Princess Diana in the latest season of The Crown has drawn renewed attention to her fashion looks, including her iconic Philadelphia Eagles varsity jacket. 

Many licensed properties are leaning into this trend and providing their own fresh takes, such as with the beloved Peanuts brand we represent and its many ranges with Inditex. We also represent several iconic institutions themselves, including Harvard and Yale universities, and are seeing great interest in these brands.

Retro Gaming 

Another fashion trend that has been around for a little while but is now stepping up a level, is the use of retro gaming brands, such as Nintendo, and our very own Tetris, Space Invaders and Sonic. As platforms have evolved over the years, these games have been played by multiple generations in many different ways – from the original arcade and console games, and now on tablets and mobile devices – and so they bring wide brand recognition across multiple demographics. 

These properties also offer a real sense of fun and playfulness, as well as tapping into the spirit of nostalgia and evoking the spirit of the ‘80s and ‘90s, which is proving to be really appealing to the millennial generation. More generally, the distinctive graphics are a hit with fans of strong visual styling. 

In particular, we’re seeing these brands enjoy great success with footwear collaborations, such as the deal we recently secured with premium Dutch footwear brand Floris Van Bommel for a Spring/Summer capsule collection inspired by Space Invaders. We often see a ‘30-year-cycle’ where kids who grew up with the IP are now in a position to buy something special that reminds them of their childhood and we see this as a real driver of the trend.

Vintage Brands Applied to Lifestyle 

Also in the vein of millennial and Gen Z nostalgia, we’re increasingly seeing the use of vintage brands applied to lifestyle products within fashion, for example, the new capsule collection inspired by the iconic Fruit of the Loom apparel brand that’s recently launched at Zara. There’s also a lot of interest in brands such as Technics and Kodak, as well as heritage sports brands like Prince and Kappa. 

The fashion industry often aims for the surprise factor by reviving brands that used to be the ‘coolest ones around’ and using them to create a flashback moment during which consumers are reminded of something they’d perhaps long forgotten. This type of licensed collaboration really gives consumers a chance to relive their memories of a certain brand and, although the product may now appear in a different form, it offers them a chance to once again buy something from a brand they loved when they were younger.

Care for the Planet, Ourselves and One Another 

Across all stages of fashion, there is an increased commitment to more environmentally friendly practices and choices – starting right with the manufacturing processes and the raw materials that are being used. The industry is striving to embrace the ‘circular’ economy with reusing and recycling being the top priorities, and this is already happening across many of the big fashion retailers. Many new fashion companies are also solely working with recycled materials and within this type of circular economy. 

Environmental sustainability is also being applied directly to the messaging of products, such as Ecolaf with its ‘There’s No Planet B’ campaign. We also recently worked on a fantastic collaboration for Peanuts Worldwide with the luxury eco-sustainable apparel brand, Vayyu. To mark Earth Day, Vayyu launched its first licensed collection, which featured Charles M. Schulz’s classic Peanuts characters and included garments designed by students from Nottingham Trent University. This was all part of Peanuts Worldwide’s “Take Care with Peanuts” initiative, a global multi-year enterprise encouraging everyone to take care of themselves, each other and the Earth.

As well as embracing the growing interest in caring for the planet, licensing trends are also capturing the zeitgeist within the fashion space for care and kindness – as we emerge from the pandemic with a renewed respect for one another and our world. This is coming across in apparel that brings in messages of acceptance and inclusivity, as well as encouraging individuals to express themselves freely. A great example of this is WildBrain’s recently launched Teletubbies adult fashion collection for 2021 Pride Month, which incorporates a theme of ‘Big Hugs, Big Love’ and celebrates the importance of self-expression in an uplifting way. The collection’s proceeds will also benefit GLAAD to support its culture-changing work to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community. 

In a more visual sense, we’re seeing many floral and colourful patterns as consumers embrace fun, playful prints to counteract the difficult period we’ve been living in.

Art, Graphics and Museums 

Finally, there’s been a continuing trend for many years for fashion partnerships inspired by art brands, particularly when there’s an anniversary from artists and museums to be celebrated with supporting merchandise. 

This trend has ramped up recently, with many well-respected artists and museums being a key focus for licensed collaborations. Some recent examples include Zara launching a menswear collection inspired by the “El Prado” Museum in Spain as well as a range for the Sistine Chapel, and Pull & Bear collaborating with Tate Modern. Licensed collaborations offer consumers another – often more affordable – avenue to own a ‘piece of art’ from their favourite creators and build this into their daily lives. 

Underwear brand MeUndies steps into Bravado partnership for The Rolling Stones collection

The men’s and women’s underwear, sleepwear, and loungewear brand, MeUndies, has partnered with Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company Bravado to launch a limited edition collaboration with The Rolling Stones.

The new MeUndies x The Rolling Stones collection will feature the band’s iconic tongue and lips logo on underwear, socks, bralettes, and loungewear.

“The Rolling Stones was one of my favorite bands growing up, and I was lucky enough to see them live for their 40 Licks tour while backpacking in Hamburg, Germany in 2003,” said Jonathan Shokrian, founder and CEO of MeUndies. “This collaboration allows both The Rolling Stones fans and our MeUndies community to celebrate legendary music and rock out in epicly-soft Undies.” 

Designed in 1970 by English artist John Pasche, The Rolling Stones logo is one of the most famous graphics in rock ’n’ roll history. The new MeUndies collection featuring the logo was created to celebrate the band, which has been promoting self-expression and inspiring fans to challenge the status quo and embrace their individuality since 1962.

“This limited-edition collection gives Rolling Stones fans a new way to show their love for the band,” said Christine Buckley, vice president, global brand management, Bravado. “MeUndies shares the same commitment to unself-conscious free expression that Mick and the band have always embodied, which is why this collab is such an exciting one.”

The collection is now available for purchase exclusively on All prints from MeUndies, including The Rolling Stones collection, are limited-edition, so once they sell out, they won’t come back.

MeUndies designs ultrasoft basics, including underwear, socks, sleepwear, loungewear and, now, swimwear for both men and women. The brand is committed to celebrating comfort, creativity and self-expression and is renowned for its ethos of inclusivity, body positivity and transparency, its MeUndies Gives program, and its frequent drops of colorful, trendy prints in its MicroModal line.

Lion Brand Yarn Company launches official Schitt’s Creek line to help fans recreate the show’s iconic looks

The hit Canadian sitcom series, Schitt’s Creek is embarking on a new licensing venture, enabling fans of the ‘must-watch TV series of the pandemic’ to recreate some of the most iconic looks from the pop culture phenomenon.

In partnership with ITV Studios – the global distributor of the award-winning Schitt’s Creek series – Lion Brand Yarn Company is helping the series’ biggest fans create those chic sweaters, tops, and outfits, thanks to its upcoming line of official products.

“We are excited and proud to be partnering with ITV Studios and launching a product line inspired by ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ a show that has captured the hearts of TV viewers in multiple countries,” said Chris Mills, president and CEO of Lion Brand Yarn Company.

“In addition to releasing exclusive yarns and patterns that will allow fans and crafters to recreate their favorite garments, we’re honored to be associated with a show that promotes positivity, warmth, and inclusivity – messages that are integral to Lion Brand’s mission as a company.”

Lion Brand’s line of Schitt’s Creek products will include varying styles and colors of yarn – including white, heather grey, blush, and jet black – all of which will bear an exclusive “Schitt’s Creek” label. It will also include a wide variety of patterns for both adults and children, with detailed instructions on how to create the clothing inspired by the “Schitt’s Creek” characters: David Rose’s unforgettable collection of sweaters; Alexis Rose’s spirited, bohemian cardigans; and more.

Matching merchandise such as pillows and throw blankets will also accompany the line.

“We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with Lion Brand on this first-of-its-kind Schitt’s Creek product line,” said Kim Dingler, CCO global entertainment, ITV Studios.

“Thanks to Lion Brand, a company that shares the Schitt’s Creek ethos of community, consumers and crafters will have a one-stop shop and be able to make their own ‘Schitt’s Creek’ outfits.”

Created by father-and-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, who also star in the show opposite Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy, the Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek first debuted in 2015, before a migration to Netflix set it on course to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Over five years and six seasons, the story of a wealthy family displaced and brought down to earth in a modest small town exploded in popularity, and for its final season, it won nine awards at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as two Golden Globes.

Throughout its run, Schitt’s Creek became as beloved for its bold fashions as it did for its characters and storylines. The unique knits and patterns worn by David Rose (Dan Levy), Moira Rose (O’Hara) and Alexis Rose (Murphy), specifically, inspired countless Halloween costumes as well as major clothing retailers and fashion designers.

“For Lion Brand, the combination of the show’s striking knitwear and its warmhearted themes were a perfect match,” said Mills. “With everything we do, we strive to create a more colorful, connected, comforting, and caring world, and that’s exactly what the world of Schitt’s Creek is. We can’t wait for our customers to make, wear, and enjoy the stunning styles of that world.”

Paddington sets fresh paws down in South Korea with luxury retailer Hazzys

The Copyrights Group has struck a new retail partnership for a bespoke Paddington clothing, accessories, and golf line in South Korea with the luxury retailer, Hazzys. The deal will witness the launch of a dedicated range of co-branded apparel and accessories across all 35 of the retailer’s stores in South Korea.

Creative director Hun Kim, currently the head of design at Karl Lagerfeld and previously in senior design positions at Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Converse, has been appointed to work on this new collaboration.

The range is currently available in-store and online at To further extend the reach of the Paddington range and build additional engagement with South Korean fans, a seasonal golf collection and associated apparel and accessories will launch in late Spring 2021.

“We see that this collaboration will strongly appeal to young Korean customers who have purchasing power. Hazzys’ brand concept of British casual looks and the adorable Paddington graphics are a perfect match,” said Jung Hyuk Park, senior manager, global business for HAZZYS. 

“We are thrilled to be working with Hazzys on this fantastic collaboration. We feel the pairing of these two iconic brands offers something new and exciting to the market,” said Polly Emery, SVP brand and international licensing, The Copyrights Group.

Hazzys first started in 2000 in Korea as a men’s British traditional casual brand. Since then, it has expanded to various areas including Ladies clothing, Accessories, Golf and Kids, offering a lively look with an urban feel. Over the years, HAZZYS has grown beyond Korea’s domestic market to become a global brand appreciated by consumers across the globe.

Adidas and LEGO build on creative partnership to introduce a new ZX 8000 ‘Bricks’ Collection

Adidas and The LEGO Group have extended their partnership to launch a new ZX 8000 ‘Bricks’ collection of footwear, building on the pairing that previously introduced the landmark A-ZX series.

Bringing the globally renowned Danish toy brand’s signature aesthetics to one of Adidas’ most iconic styles, the collection marks the next stage in a partnership inspired by the two companies’ shared passion for creativity.

The footwear collection plays host to six sneakers, each made up in one of the primary LEGO colors: Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Black, and Grey. Boasting a classic construction based on the original ZX 8000 material composition, each pair in the collaborative ‘Bricks’ offering features a mesh upper matched with synthetic suede overlays, a ghillie lacing system, and a TPU heel counter which playfully emulates the texture of LEGO bricks.

Accompanying the launch of the collection is a playful campaign which follows the journey of the ZX 8000 silhouette as it is constructed piece by piece by LEGO minifigure engineers.

The Adidas Originals and the LEGO Group ZX 8000 ‘Bricks’ collection arrives on May 7th and is available in adult and junior sizing through and select retailers.

Crayola partners with Native Shoes to launch bold new range of designs

Crayola has launched a new collaboration with the footwear brand, Native Shoes, to celebrate a shared creativity through the launch of a range of new designs featuring the bold colours of the arts and crafts brand.

The Jefferson, Jefferson Child, Spencer LX, and Charley sandals have each been reimagined with a bright, abstract scribble print, mimicking the effect of classic Crayola markers. An additional four-scribble print sees the Jefferson Child sandal emblazoned with different colour scribbles on each side.

A range has also been launched for those looking to make a bolder statement, with a vivid ombre block print available in nostalgic shades of Sunny Side Up Yellow, and Navy Niblet Blue applied to the sandals collection.

As with all Native Shoes, the 11 styles in the Crayola collaboration are designed to tread lightly on the planet. Fully recyclable through the Native Shoes Remix Project, the shoes can be shipped back free-of-charge once outgrown, to be transformed into colorful playgrounds for local communities in Native Shoes’ hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Kyle Housman, CEO of Native Shoes, said: “As a brand, Native Shoes is all about making it easy for all to Live Lightly. We celebrate the happy moments, bold colors and light footprints which make our world a better place. With its bright colors and boundless inspiration, Crayola is a natural partner, and we’re so excited to work with them on this collaboration.”

Warren Schorr, vice president of business development and global licensing, Crayola, added: “Crayola strives to help parents and educators raise creatively-alive kids. We are thrilled to partner with Native Shoes, another mission-driven brand, to inspire kids and adults to step up each day with eye-catching, bold footwear.”