Marrying high fashion with Japanese animation is something that has been done before but when Michael B Jordan got Coach to feature Naruto for his first fashion collaboration, our minds are blown!
A legendary series, Naruto is one of the best selling Japanese anime and manga to ever exist, with a story based on mythical ninjas (also known as Shinobi that spans over 720 episodes and 72 volumes, and quite unexpectedly a favourite of Michael during his teens.
So, when he was setting out to debut his first creative collaboration with Coach as part of his role as the global ambassador, Naruto seemed like the perfect choice, as he says in the release, "With my name on this collection, it was important to design pieces that represent my cultural influences and my community; pieces that I could see my friends, family and fans wearing with pride.”
In conjunction to the collection, Coach also unveiled a blockbuster-worthy campaign film, directed by Black Panther cinematographer Rachel Morrison, that combines Michael's cinematic skill and Naruto’s mystic iconography that sets in the streets of Tokyo.
Bringing magic realism of the Naruto universe into modern-day grit, the film plays on the importance and power of connection, which reflects the Naruto backstory that speaks closely to Jordan’s own narrative as an outlier building bridges inside and outside of the Hollywood establishment and echoes Coach’s commitment to community and courage.
See the film below:
In this three-way collaboration, Michael wants to bring unique voices to the forefront with this unisex ready-to-wear, footwear and bag collection that emphasises out cultural influence from his upbringing, his love for Naruto and his creative venture with Coach.
And the result? A quirky, fun and chic collection that comprises of all Coach signatures like the shearling jackets, utilitarian footwear and classic backpacks, with more trendy touches like the bum bag, t-shirts and hoodies.
The prime motifs used from the anime in the collection are the trademark eye designs, derived from one of the iconic superpowers in the story, and the flame graphics, all of which are incorporated with the new Coach "Retro C" logo. Along with a feature of the lead characters, Naruto, Sasuke and Itachi.
The eye motifs, including the Sharingan and Sennin (sage) mode, are highlighted on the various bags and shoes, along with the cloud motifs that are based on a cult within the story named Akatsuki (translated to dawn).
The silhouettes of the jackets, which include shearling, denim and leather renditions, are Coach classics that are reinterpreted to reflect Michael's style (some are also inspired and redesigned based on the outfits from the anime).
A single pant design is also included, which reflects the classic outfit worn by many of the characters within the Naruto universe.
This new collaboration by Coach also showcases two t-shirts designs. One featuring the Densetsu no Sannin (Legendary Ninja Tro) in black, white and grey, while the other draws from Naruto's famed P2P console game that sees the two lead characters fighting for a tournament sponsored by Coach.
On the collection, Coach creative director Stuart Vevers says, “He’s a great collaborator because he always puts his heart and soul into everything he does, and because he brought something authentic and personal to the collection.”
Swipe to see the full collection below:
In celebration of the launch of the collection, Coach now features the collection with global pop-ups in Japan, Malaysia and the United States, a dedicated Coach experience in the VIZ Media booth at New York Comic Con on 3rd to 6th October 2019, and a range of limited-edition T-shirts.
In Malaysia, the Coach x MBJ has taken over its Pavilion KL flagship store where Naruto and his fellow ninjas make their debut appearance on the store's facade. There is also an exclusive pop-up space on Level 3 of Pavilion KL where fans can get up close and personal with the collaboration.
The Coach x MBJ collection featuring Naruto is now available at the Coach Pavilion KL pop-up space, Pavilion KL flagship store and Suria KLCC men's store.