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Babar Gets New Duds in Deal With Rowing Blazers

The world’s most popular elephant character, Babar, will now have his own line of apparel and accessories through New York clothing brand and retailer Rowing Blazers.

The agreement was made with international kid’s show producer Nelvana and The Clifford Ross Company, which has owned the rights since 1986.

The collaboration, launched globally on Rowing Blazers’ website on Dec. 3, will see menswear, womenswear and accessories in the first collection. The collection comes ahead of Babar’s milestone 90th anniversary in 2021.

“Babar has always been known for his dapper style and his iconic green suit, making it the ideal brand to elevate with New York apparel brand and retailer, Rowing Blazers,” said Mellany Masterson, Head of Nelvana Enterprises. “Given Rowing Blazer’s innovative and authentic approach to launching high-end products and their genuine passion for reinventing classics, this is truly the perfect collaboration as we head into the brand’s 90th anniversary.”

The Rowing Blazers Babar Fall/Winter 2020 collection features 20 SKUS inspired by the original Babar character illustrations, including a green suit, as well as shirts, sweatshirts, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, totes, and ties. In addition to Rowing Blazer’s website and New York flagship store, product from the collection will also be available at Selfridges and End in the U.K., and Maiden’s Usonian Goods Store in Japan.

“I’ve loved Babar since I read the books as a child,” said Jack Carlson, Founder of Rower Blazers. “He helped me to learn French (mostly forgotten now), but he also taught me about the world. The Babar books are a potent mixture of glamorous, mid-century jet-set travel; family dramas and diversions, feasts and parties; and, of course, occasional matters of state.”

Carlson says he’s been thinking about creating a line based on the dapper pachyderm for many years.

“Babar has a perfect wardrobe, great adventures, and he always travels in style, whether he’s skiing in Switzerland, picking up an honorary degree at Harvard, or surveying Egyptian ruins,” said Carlson. “I’ve wanted to release a Babar collaboration since I started Rowing Blazers, and I’m so proud and excited that it’s now a reality.”

Babar originated in the 1930s as a bedtime story told to Laurent de Brunhoff and his brother by their mother, Cecile, and first came to life through the art of Laurent’s father, Jean, a painter, who produced seven books about the character. When Jean passed away at the young age of 37, Laurent, who studied at the same art academy, built on his father’s work, creating many lively adventures for the elephant family. The lovable elephant has appeared in more than 75 books in 27 languages, as well as multiple television series, specials, and films.

Based in SoHo, New York, Rowing Blazers is known for its youthful, self-aware, and ironic take on “preppy” style; its highly sought-after limited-edition and often irreverent capsule collections and collaborations with legendary brands like Barbour, Sperry, Puma, Noah, Lands’ End, Eric Emanuel, J. Press and Beams; and, most importantly, its sense of community – which manifests itself in partnerships with artists, musicians, student organizations, iconic eating and drinking establishments, and charitable causes, including their  primary charitable partner, Row New York.


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