Johanne Broadfield, VP of Cartoon Network Enterprises EMEA talks us through the growing fashion category for The Powerpuff Girls
It sounds like fashion is very important in The Powerpuff Girls campaign. Why do you think this is?
I think it’s true to say that the brand can really express itself very well in that space. This is just as much about the brand’s DNA – what it stands for and how girls and women relate to it – as of the bold, bright aesthetic and iconic graphics which just look fantastic on clothing and accessories. It’s this combination of brand value and aesthetics, together with a strong heritage from its debut in the late 90s, which fashion designers as well as consumers really love.
What are some of the high-end fashion highlights?
The Moschino x Jeremy Scott partnership for spring 2016 kick-started the adult-targeted Powerpuff Girls programme and was a real highlight. Another was the Powerpuff Girls x Fyodor Golan collaboration, which launched at London Fashion Week in February this year. It was a big collection – including outerwear, tops, sweatshirts, skirts, dresses and trousers, as well as a “mini-me” collection for young girls.
Since then we have enjoyed the gorgeous new range for adults, young adults and kids from high-end designers Bizuu in Poland and a 22-piece collection for girls aged four to 12, as well as a series of “mommy-and-me” styles from Saucette, in the Middle East. All of these collections have successfully delivered wide-spread national press coverage and social media buzz, elevating PPG to all new pop-culture heights.
Will there be more?
Definitely. We have more in the works now which are just too early to announce. It’s clear that The Powerpuff Girls resonates strongly within the fashion arena so we will make sure these collaborations remain an important part of the licensing strategy, alongside a great line-up of high street and online fashion brands like some of those we’ve recently shared.
Why are designers like Fyodor Golan drawn to The Powerpuff Girls?
You mean aside from the strong graphics and great positive messaging?! We’ve found that many designers like Fyodor Golan grew up with the girls and were huge fans when they were young. In fact before we even talked to Fyodor Golan about a partnership they were already celebrating the brand, “dressing up” The Powerpuff Girls for their email signatures. So they already loved it and felt completely familiar – and that allowed them to create something authentic.
By working with a licensed brand, a designer can create a talking point and a focus for creativity and fun. It also works both ways in expanding the two brands’ reach – the collaborations help introduce The Powerpuff Girls to new audiences and, in turn, it helps makes The Powerpuff Girls fans aware of the fashion partner.
What makes a good collaboration?
In our experience they all bring something new and different and offer great fun to both parties, as well as strong reciprocity. I’d say that the Fyodor Golan partnership has been a collaboration in the very best sense – it really brought ‘girl power’ to the catwalk and we supported with a piece of bespoke animation that sent the designers to the city of Townsville to appear in their own PPG episode. In return, Fyodor Golan created miniature versions of their signature pieces for our website www.powerpuffyourself.com so that fans can turn themselves into their very own ‘Powerpuffed’ person kitted out in Fyodor Golan.
What are the benefits of collaborations like this to you?
Partnerships like these serve a very strategic purpose. They inspire demand among adult fans of the original show while harnessing the aspirational appeal of The Powerpuff Girls with today’s teens and tweens. They create awareness and edge and help to re-position a brand in the consumer psyche, in perhaps a new or aspirational way.
They also take the brand to new fans and retail spaces – with Fyodor Golan for example, PPG was available in high-end stores and boutiques in London, Milan, Dubai, Hong Kong, Palm Beach and a pop up Harvey Nichols shop in Doha, among others.
Collaborations also create an impressive halo effect. Shows like London Fashion Week, for example, create global exposure which has a trickle-down effect to mass-market retailers who sit up and take notice of the brand.
Where can we find The Powerpuff Girls in the UK?
Everywhere. While the high-end fashion lines capture the high-end headlines we have a fantastic network of retailers and licensees offering The Powerpuff Girls on the high street. For example, Bioworld Europe has a range of ladies’ daywear that’s available at Primark and H&A’s line of cosmetics aimed at young girls and tweens has just launched at Boots stores across the country. There’s also kids’ fashion bags from Trademark, jewellery and accessories from Imagine8, girls’ daywear from Blues Clothing and more now rolling-out at retailers including Next, Matalan, Asda, Tesco and Morrisons.
How are you differentiating between adult / nostalgia and kids?
This has been a fascinating process with The Powerpuff Girls. The brand’s heritage, aesthetic and values translate perfectly into fashion and accessories for adults and children and we are finding there isn’t such a clear distinction between them. Some partners are creating ranges for both – the ‘mini me’ collections by Fyodor Golan, for example, and Saucette in the Middle East. The positive messages about female empowerment are appropriate to fans of all ages, so while adults are drawn to the brand’s heritage, young girls watching for the first time are drawn to it because it’s current and relevant.
Where else in Europe is the brand strong in fashion?
The Powerpuff Girls is proving its appeal right across Europe. We have signed a DTR with Tvoe in Russia, and in the Iberian market there will be fashion bags from CYP Imports and kidswear from SunCity next year. Both Cookie in the Benelux and Sahinler in France will be offering ladies and kidswear and accessories.
We’re also very excited about the pan-European deal we have signed with trend-led e-tailer Daisy Street that will launch a ladieswear range including t-shirts, jumpers and sweatshirts through its own website in addition to ASOS, New Look and Zalando. For kids across Europe, we’re partnering with Spanish fashion label Lefties and Commerciale Campana Srlfor footwear.
What happens next?
We keep building the brand, and enjoying and celebrating everything that’s great about The Powerpuff Girls. Fashion collaborations will be a key part of this. It’s vital to us to keep answering demand for PPG in every demographic and to make sure these partnerships are fun and imaginative – The Powerpuff Girls month-long takeover of the WAH London nail salon is a great example of the sort of things we are working on. It brings a flash of excitement to the market and complements the longer-standing retail partnerships.
What’s your favourite Powerpuff Girls fashion item and why?
That’s a very difficult question to answer – but I must admit I love the simplicity of the black Fyodor Golan t-shirt dress with all three Powerpuff Girls. My daughter and I had so much fun when we went to the pop-up store at the London Fashion Week Festival in September [pictured]– it became an expensive trip though as she decided she loved Fyodor Golan too. I can’t blame her for her great taste.