Fans of the acclaimed Japanese animated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli can rejoice. A new clothing line featuring trendy designs from Miyazaki's most iconic films is now available for fans to shop online.
The collection is the latest by Wizards of the West, a small Toronto-based company that sells sweatshirts, leggings and other accessories featuring cheeky prints (think 50 Shades of Grey leggings).
The Studio Ghibli collection, which debuted last week, is based on characters from the Japanese animation house, starting with six movies with more to come.
"Beloved characters from Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind translate as well on fabric as they do on the big screen, evoking fond memories for film fans young and old," the company said in a statement.
The Studio Ghibli line is the first of a series of pop culture-inspired designs coming up in the next year, according to the release.
"We started with Studio Ghibli for several reasons," Jason West, founder of Wizards of the West, told Mic. "One is we're big fans. Our entire team, from design, sales and logistics — everybody just adores the works of Studio Ghibli."
It also helped that the images were so widely loved across the globe. "We work with designers across several continents and countries," said West. "Even with that expanse of geography and culture, everyone knew and loved Studio Ghibli. That just proved to us the global depth and influence Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli had."
"The Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli Collection gives me the perfect opportunity to combine the worlds of pop culture and runway couture," West said in the statement. "This virtual fashion label is a way to pay tribute to Miyazaki's vast body of work, and to offer anime enthusiasts a collection of casual, comfortable clothing items based on some of their favorite films."
While there's plenty of merchandise out there for Studio Gihbli fans, this collections differs by more subtly incorporating of Miyazaki's films. These sweatshirts are a far cry from traditional, screen-printed T-shirts with a single image from the film. Instead, they're actually stylish, in a comfortable, sitting-on-your-couch-and-watching-a-Miyazaki-movie kind of way.
And they seem to be taking off.
"So far its been absolutely insane, we can't keep stock," West told Mic. "We are still doing pre-orders and as we speak we may have to extend our pre-order phase because our factories can't keep up with supply, let alone carry stock to sell."
The most popular ones so far? "Looks like the Spirited Away and Mononoke prints may be taking the lead," said West.
Miyazaki's worlds blend reality and fantasy in beautiful ways. Now his magical characters are blended with the kind of casual, everyday clothes (hello, sweatshirts and leggings) we actually want to wear.
Oct. 8, 11:49 a.m.: This post has been updated to include comment from West.