dimanche 19 décembre 2010

Vintage Cuteness

Something very child-like survives throughout most women's life : we can be sensible, close to our emotions, and fascinated by cute things. Why ? What do you mean, why ? Cute things are cute !

I think that for most of the medium-high end make-up companies (Sephora, Mac, Urban Decay, etc), the target customers are the 18-30-year-olds, seeing that they are grown-up, like to be pretty, have money and not so much financial obligations yet. That might explain why so many companies are coming up with cartoon-themed collections. What twenty-two year old can resist a pink lipstick with Hello Kitty on it ?? (by all means, sense the tone!)

That being said, I do think cartoons can be cute, and add a little something to some items, though it tends to make the products look more girlish than womany. In my humble opinion.

The trendiest cartoons of the hour ?

Who could resist that cuty kitty face ? Come on, it's go no mouth and a little bow ! (Crowd : awwwwwh). Little do most people know, that kitty cat is several times a billionnaire. Hello Kitty was sent out in the world for the first time in 1974 by Sanrio, bought several years later by Sega, and since then, several thousands of derived products are sold throughout the world and add up to about a billion dollars of sale per year. And know what the best part is ? I am pretty sure that even if 19 in 20 young girls can name that caracter, maybne one, if any, of them at the most have ever seen Hello Kitty in something else than a derived product ("what do you mean, there's a cartoon ?")

I can't say exactly when the cute feline broke its way into the make-up industry - it was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm pretty sure that there always was, somewhere, a pink chapstick with Hello Kitty on it. That being said, I'm think I can safely say that Mac took it to higher-end make-up world for good when they released their Hello Kitty collection, back in 2008.

Girls throughout the world could not bear the overwhelming cuteness (especially that Mac had put a nice Avril Lavigne twist on the collection), collected their bucks (who needs a savings account ?) and spent hundreds of dollars - the collection sold out within the blink of an eye.

It is since then that I've realized how viral Hello Kitty is - no matter in what generic store you are, you'll stumble upon the white kitten. Yet, those dotted eyes still seem effective to wake the pre-teen girl in any one - derived products sell out as candy. A very safe bet for a girly girl's Christmas gift.

All Mac collections are limited edition - yet, it was a matter of time only before the kitten scratched its way back into the mid-high end make-up industry. Thus, as all Sephora Beauty Insiders know (and readers of temptalia.com), Sephora is lauching a new collection : Hello Kitty for Sephora.

There was an online pre-release for beauty insiders only, and the official lauch will be in-stores soon, before being available online again. It looks as japanese as can be : all white, clear, jeweled and kitty-faced. A few pictures :

Hello Kitty and Teenage Violence : in a soon-to-be-released Hello Kitty brush kit, our teenages will have to behead the kitten to access their brushes by unscrewing the holder's head. Troubling.

I find it looks very pre-teenage-ish - it will definitely be a block buster. Keep your eye open for that !

My call for upcoming cartoons :

Eventually, there will be a limit for how many different items you can shape like Hello Kitty's head. Here are the caracters I feel are the next to make their break in the industry.

Mickey Mouse
Mickey is the grandpa of cartoons, soon to be a hundred years old (and still not a wrinkle on his face ! I call his entry in the beauty domain will be as the promoter of a facial cream). His cuteness is timeless.

That being said, I don't think Mickey has aged as well as other cartoons - he's very child-like, in a not-girly-enough way.

If I had to guess, I would say that Vintage Mickey Mouse could sell out a Mac collection - they should insist on his hand-drawn aspect, and make it look a little sketchy - Sepia and faded black colors, that kind of stuff. In any way, to make it look more elaborate that the Venomous Vilains stickers. Those were a big let down.

Betty Boop
Fashion for teenage to mid-twenties girls, in the beginning of the new millenium, was kind of a disaster : I hope girls all over the world are still ashamed of having been a part of the low-cut-jeans-and-g-string-up-to-the-middle-of-the-back trend. Recently, the fashion industry has been dealing a little (and I insist, a little) better with how sexual it has to be : pin-up is the new slut. I have to say, I do find the pin-up look rather beautiful. At least, they didn't have tramp-stamps at thirteen.

It is not surprising to see how popular Betty Boop has become in the last few years, as the pin-up trend seems to settle. I seem to stumble upon more and more derived products, ranging from purses to pyjamas. My gut feeling is that she is soon to be found in a Sephora near you !

Boo-boo-pi-doo-ooh !

Tinker Bell

Tinker Bell seems to be in-between two generations - that green dress is short enough to make her a slut, but still, I would say she leans a little on the pin-up side. Tinker Bell is more of a tease than a slut. She has been overly popular with the tweenies in the last few years, as I can observe on my two younger sisters, and I would not be surprized that make-up companies would target them as customers by releasing a Tinker Bell line. Right now, Tinker Bell beauty products are only sold in dollar stores and drug stores, but in a few years, I think there could be a strong commercial potential there ! 

Forever21 has already started to market Peanuts-derived clothing, and I think it's only a matter of time before someone realizes it would rock for make-up packaging as well. It's got a vintage feel to it, it's girly but not overly (it would be a nice alternative to all the Hello Kittyness going on), and could appeal to a different audience.

Anyway, aside from calling all the next make-up cartoons, my point was that these cartoons are possible the most popular amongst the grown-up kids at the time, and any pencil/notepad/compact/burse/bag/girly t-shirt with these printed on could make very good and easy to find gifts for most young women in your life.

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