10 Real-Life Fashion Products Inspired By Anime

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Anime cynics have often argued that the medium exists solely for merchandising. While there’s an argument to be made there, especially with certain franchises like Pokémon shamelessly monetizing every aspect of their brand, anime is no different from any other art form. Art can’t exist without funding.

RELATED: 10 Anime Product Placements That Feel Out Of Place

Aesthetics are central to any successful animated story, so fashion tie-ins are a no-brainer. While some fans might see shows partnering with clothing and makeup brands as selling out, most see it as an opportunity to get their hands on exclusive merch. The anime merch market continues to thrive, and countless companies have taken part in that, at times transforming anime into something that even a closet otaku could wear to work.

10 SKECHERS D’Lites X One Piece

skechers shoes with one piece designs

Frankly, SKECHERS doesn’t strike most people as a fashionable brand. Known for boasting comfort over style, SKECHERS shoes are most often warm by older women and young children. Of course, that doesn’t mean SKECHERS won’t snag a profitable marketing opportunity when it presents itself.

In 2018, SKECHERS released a limited edition line of its D’Lites shoes, each inspired by a different One Piece character. Characters featured included Luffy, Chopper, Sanji, Zoro, Law, and Doflamingo, and each shoe bore each pirate’s specific symbol on its tongue. The collaboration was so successful that the company launched a second set of shoes in 2019, adding even more characters and a chunkier shoe to the lineup.

9 Coach X Michael B. Jordan

coach and michael b jordan collab

Turns out Michael B. Jordan is a devout otaku. When the actor signed on to collaborate with Coach and Viz Media on a capsule collection, he promptly centered the collab on his love for Naruto and homegrown streetwear. The ready-to-wear collection included everything from parkas to backpacks to sneaker boots.

But perhaps what made the collection so successful is its relative subtlety: anime fans immediately recognize emblems reminiscent of Naruto characters and their eyes especially, but outsiders might only see a stylish piece of clothing. Coach isn’t easily affordable, but anyone kitted out in this gear would certainly look especially suave while doing the Naruto run.

8 Sanrio Has Collaborated With Everyone, Including Dr. Martens

hello kitty dr martens and reebok

An entire novel could be written about the various fashion collaborations Sanrio has taken part in over the decades. Though Sanrio began in 1960 primarily as a company that produced stationery products, over the years, Hello Kitty’s empire has grown, branching into everything from fashion to animatronics to fast food.

Recently, Sanrio collaborated with another brand with an interesting history. Founded by a German war doctor who was tired of his aching feet, Dr. Martens was popularized as a British shoe company that specialized in making solid, practical boots for laborers. Over time, they evolved into an iconic symbol of punk and alternative fashion. The latest collaboration between Sanrio and Dr. Martens is two worlds colliding in the best of ways.

7 Adidas Originals X Dragon Ball Z

dragon ball adidas shoes outside

For a franchise that’s decades old and has never seen a major redesign amid its reboots, Dragon Ball fans show no sign of going anywhere. Given how formative the manga and subsequent adaptations have been in shaping the entire anime industry, that legacy seems unlikely to change, and Dragon Ball is…

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