Remember Babar? The cute elephant from the children’s books? I loved the tales of the civilised elephant when I was little, and whenever I stumble upon the book or images I get nostalgic. The green suit and gold crown which Babar wears, have become iconic.
The classic children’s character, Babar the Elephant, was created by the French painter, Jean de Brunhoff, in 1931. Since then, millions of children, like myself, have grown up with the memorable stories about the King of the Elephants, his wife Celeste, and large extended family.The book is based on a tale that Cecile, Brunhoff’s wife, had invented for their children. Babar is immensely popular all over the world. To date, the Babar stories have been translated into 17 languages and sold over 12 million copies!
Happy Birthday Babar!
The first Babar books were not published in the UK unitl 1933. That’s why the UK is celebrating the 80th anniversary of Babar this year.
The Copenhagen-based (Scandinavian superiority! Must Love It) menswear label Soulland has designed a unique collection, featuring the classic character Babar. This is the first time that permission has been given to use the vintage illustrations of the iconic elephant in a fashion range. I’m a bit bummed out that it is a menswear collection and not unisex or womenswear. But whatever, if I can get my claws on a piece, I won’t let the label “for men” stop me!
I would especially want this grey sweater!
This is what Silas Adler, the founder and head designer of Soulland, said about their Babar collection:
I have been a fan of the Babar universe since I was four years old, so it was a great honour being able to work on this collaboration. I was particularly inspired by a story from the first book, where Babar goes to the tailor to get his first suit – a bright green suit. I like the link and the relevance to menswear in that story. All drawings are originals drawn by the author and ‘father’ of the Babar universe.
I remember this story of Babar buying his first iconic green suit, and understand why this is the reason for designing a menswear collection, but this still doesn’t really explain why they couldn’t also include some womenswear pieces. However, as I said before, I don’t mind since the clothes look pretty unisex to me!
The collection launches in London’s Goodhood store on 12 April, 80 years after the books about this classic children’s character were first published in the UK.