BEHIND THE DESIGNS: CATH KIDSTON X CARE BEARS™
A collection full of storytelling prints, joyful colour and positive affirmations
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, we are delighted to present Cath Kidston X Care Bears™, a joyfully vibrant and painterly tribute to these beloved and iconic characters. Inspired by the original ‘80s paintings, be transported to a wondrous dreamscape, where Bedtime Bear slumbers on our signature rose, and Wish Bear decorates a psychedelic sky with glittering stars. Imbued with the sentiment that it’s cool to be kind, this limited-edition collection is full of visual affirmations of positivity, vivid colour and storytelling prints.
We go behind the scenes at our design studio, with our Creative Director Holly and Designers, George, Poppy and Stefi to discover how they were inspired to create this wonderfully unique collection.
When it comes to a collaboration like this between two iconic brands, where do you start?
The collaboration has to be authentic so we can put all our passion into the prints. It came very naturally with Care Bears™ because of what they stand for - kindness and inclusivity for all. We really enjoyed conveying this message through our painting and were very grateful to be able to do so.George:
We usually start by researching the brand we are collaborating with, looking at their print designs and highlighting the brand values that align with Cath Kidston. We then start diving into our archive for inspiration to see what style of print we can create to give the collaboration artwork a contemporary and heritage Cath feel.
Our prints are inspired by the original 1980s’ watercolour paintings of the Care Bears™, how did these complement the Cath Kidston print language?
It was really fun to paint the ‘loose’ style of watercolours, which meant we were quite free with the painting - which was really refreshing to do. In our Believe print you can see the loose paint marks gradually morphing in the flowers with the hidden Care Bears™ icons in between. The Care Bears™ icons are similar to ours – clouds, stars with little faces, love hearts and cupcakes, so we were well practised in painting these, and our flowers complemented them perfectly.George:
The soft lines of the watercolour paintings worked really well with our bolder, colourful florals and helped bring out the Care Bears’™ personalities.
Did any of your own Care Bears’™ memories contribute to the design process?
I have lovely memories of the 1980s Care Bears™, which is why it was a lot of fun to use these original paintings. My youngest daughter also loves Care Bears™, she has every one of the new ones, as I like them so much too! It is lovely to see how important they are to children now as they were back in the day. I think this emphasises just how lovely and important the Caring message is. Kindness will always reign supreme!George:
I always loved the little Star Buddies who helped the Care Bears™ in their many adventures. This collaboration was a great opportunity to have the Star Buddies hiding in the prints.
Each of the Care Bears™ have their own personality, how did the team bring this out in the designs?
My favourite Bear is Cheer Bear, as she is so optimistic and always cheers on her friends. This is important to us at Cath, we are an all-women design team and we always look out for each other and cheer each other on. She is also pink which is my favourite colour. She looked perfect sitting in the yellow rose bed on a lilac base.George:
Bedtime Bear helps everyone get a good night’s sleep with plenty of extra-sweet dreams. So, we designed a magical print for them, slumbering away on watercolour clouds, with bursts of stars, flowers, and hearts to give a dream-like feel. Our soft PJs really celebrate Bedtime Bear and I’m sure they will help you get a good night’s sleep too!
This collection includes our new tween sizes, how did this new extension of the range come about and why is it so important to the Care Bears™ collection?
Care Bears™ are so loved, and by so many, across all ages, so we wanted to make sure we also catered for older children, so selected styles that would work for both adults and tweens, both in shape and print.
The collection also features Christmas prints and pieces, tell us more about combining the magic of Christmas with Care Bears™
A Care Bears™ Christmas print was a no-brainer after seeing the beautiful original watercolours paintings, set in a winter wonderland. With a sprinkle of some Cath Kidston florals amongst the snowy castle and Christmas trees, we were able to design a truly magical print with the ice-skating Care Bears™ on cosy brushed cotton PJs that are perfect for the festive season.Poppy:
Christmas magic starts at home for me, and this year it will begin with our beautiful new bone china Care Bears™ mugs. They look so festive, playing in the snow and speckled with gold - it is the most special mug to have your morning coffee in - or mulled wine! They have a little Care at Christmas message inside, which is our sentiment for the season.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about this collection?
We have designed a capsule tableware collection featuring beautiful plates adorned with Care Bears™. And for special occasions there are pink stemmed champagne coupes with the adorable and nostalgic bears dancing around the rim - these are my absolute favourite pieces from the collection!Stefi:
We have really enjoyed bringing these prints to life in our fashion and bags collections, where you can see our Care Bears™ friends in different fabrications and styles. We love our Iconic print, which sees these much-loved bears sleeping or reaching for the stars whilst in a bed of hand drawn flowers.
Explore this new limited-edition collection, available now across homeware, fashion, kidswear and accessories.
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