A pair of boots have been going viral across social media lately, not because of who’s wearing them but, instead, because of who’s on them—namely, Dipsy, the green Teletubby. For only £2,073, a pair of the Christian Cowan X Teletubbies High Heel Boots can be yours, available in sizes EU 35 to 41.
The shoes are part of a larger capsule collection that promises “classic styles featuring screen prints of the characters themselves in a 90s-inspired fashion campaign.” The promotional images are surprisingly racy and thoroughly saturated with a nostalgic aesthetic. Each of the Teletubbies gets its own design. The Tinky Winky graphic tee, however, is sadly already sold out, so try not to get your hopes up too much.
Now, these colourful creatures are no strangers to the spotlight. The original series ran from 1997 to 2001 (followed by endless reruns throughout the noughties), so it was a prime show for gen Zers. By 2000, the franchise had generated over £1 billion of merchandise. A revival featured on the BBC from 2015 to 2018, with a US edition dropping on Netflix in November 2022, featuring Tituss Burgess.
In the past year alone, the Teletubbies characters have featured in collaborations with brands including IUTER and Y.R.U Shoes—as well as Goguy x Ellesse, for a special Pride collection. In January, the whole crew (Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po) even made an appearance on the main stage of RuPaul’s DragCon UK.
I highly recommend giving them a follow on both Instagram and TikTok, where they share spoof album covers of Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Dolly Parton, as well as posting horoscopes and other timely content. Seriously, what can’t they do?
The label behind the ‘Teleboots’, Cowan has also recently released a Doritos collaborative capsule collection, apparently inspired by the Doritos triangular form.” Pieces debuted on the runway and a select few are still available to buy online, namely, a hoodie bedecked in triangles, triangular earrings, and a pouch bag with a, you guessed it, triangle for a handle. Not as groundbreaking as the Teletubbies boots if you ask me.
But these aren’t the only boots to be going viral this year. Elsewhere, JW Anderson presented a collaboration with another British icon: Wellipets. Launched in 1983, they claim to be the “first rain boot ever to mix the traditional Wellington design with a playful element, namely the frog.”
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They gained icon status in the 1980s when Princess Diana dressed Princes William and Harry in them—they’re also still available in both child and adult sizes. Anderson has reimagined the boots as loafers in three colours: green, blue, and yellow. They debuted on the runway in January, alongside a matching frog clutch, which may or may not be a companion to the FW22 pigeon clutch bag.
MSCHF, an artist collective that engages with “art, fashion, tech, and capitalism,” also launched some big boots this Spring, specifically, Big Red Boots. Inspired by Astro Boy, the eponymous protagonist of the iconic, pioneering manga series, they promise “cartoon boots for a cool 3D world.”
“Cartoonishness is an abstraction that frees us from the constraints of reality,” MSCHF writes in the item’s description. “If you kick someone in these boots they go boing!”
The boots quickly sold out and can now be periodically spotted on celebrities. Lil Nas X shared a series of pics sporting them. This isn’t too surprising though, as the singer previously collaborated with MSCHF on the Satan Shoes, customised sneakers with blood in the sole, that led to outcry from Christians and a hefty lawsuit from Nike. Pairs now sell online for as much as $15,000.
Nostalgia has been all over runways recently. As a new wave of designers emerges to prominence or takes over existing labels, 90s references unsurprisingly come to light, both for the decade’s fashion and its pop culture.
GCDS, for example, has made collections inspired by Pokémon, specifically Pikachu and Jigglypuff, as well as Hello Kitty. A 2021 collaboration with Bratz saw two limited edition dolls, Yasmin and Sasha, dressed in specially designed GCDS outfits.
Founded in Milan in 2015, GCDS stands for Giuliano Calza Design Studio or, alternatively, “God Can’t Destroy Streetwear,” “Girls Can Desire Sex,” or “Giuliano Calza Does SpongeBob.” The SpongeBob designs were part of the SS23 runway and are available to buy or pre-order now.
A SpongeBob-inspired embroidered gown will set you back £2,995 but a bikini—available in both SpongeBob and Patrick variations—costs just £325. The leather jacket and matching yellow mini skirt was recently worn by Dua Lipa, the whole look costing just over £3,500. But, if bright yellow leather is your thing, you’ll struggle to find a better ensemble elsewhere.
Should we expect Transformers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to expect the same treatment? Will Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer be strutting down the NYFW runway next? Only time will tell.