At the National Retail Federation’s virtual 2021 conference, WGSN’s director of insight Andrea Bell described nostalgia as “an anchor” consumers can grasp and feel grounded in as the pandemic unmoors them from the usual rhythm of their daily lives.
For its latest drop, the Los Angeles-based streetwear label Teddy Fresh chose some of the ‘80s purest icons to act as this metaphorical anchor: the Care Bears.
“Care Bears represent something so innocent and honest,” Teddy Fresh CEO Hila Klein told Sourcing Journal. “In particular, the Teddy Fresh team loves the graphics from the earlier animated series with the hand-made watercolor feel.”
Released late last month, the collection includes a denim set featuring an all-over Care Bears dreamscape print, a pair of cardigans and a sweater covered in a Care Bears heart pattern recreated in a jacquard weave. A couple tank tops and twill shorts designs, a mock-neck crop top, a collared sweatshirt and a broad range of T-shirts, long sleeves and sweatpants round out the selection.
In addition to jacquard, Teddy Fresh’s collection makes use of angora wool in the cardigans, sueded fleece in some of the hoodies and 100 percent cotton with open-end yarn on the sweats.
“The restrictions and challenges that brick-and-mortar outlets are facing has forced us to concentrate more closely on our customer than ever before to grow our direct-to-consumer market,” Klein said. “As a result, we’re consistently clued in to what our customers are looking for, and with the Teddy Fresh x Care Bears collection, I feel we’ve delivered that.”
As far as any future Care Bears streetwear from Teddy Fresh, Klein said there’s nothing official on the books. Still, she said the brand “really enjoyed working with the Care Bears team, and we feel a sense of unity between our brands, so we can’t write anything off just yet.”
Teddy Fresh’s Care Bear drops follows a series of nostalgic 2020 releases that key into times past for millennial consumers. Brands from Levi’s to Puma and Champion dropped collections inspired by Super Mario Bros. as the beloved video game franchise turned 35 years old. Los Angeles-based brand Guess’ Originals collection brought back retro ‘90s graphics. Rowing Blazers payed homage to the “early ’80s and a young Princess Diana” in its first-ever women’s collection. Champion collaborated with M&M for fun, nostalgic quarantine footwear.