Bobby Abley X Primark Collaboration: A Review

By Annabelle Ingram

London Fashion Week was Privy to a bold new collection. Bobby Abley revealed Primark’s first ever fashion week collaboration at the event, bringing to life more of your favourite characters.

Abley is a London-based designer, recognised for his flamboyant, funky and fun work who studied design at Ravensbourne College, before embarking on a year round adventure in L.A. It was whilst in L.A. that he began working with renowned designers before launching his own stand-alone shows. 

Inspired by the animated characters of Minions, the collection is somewhat in line with many of Primark’s previous collections that were characterised by various Disney and Pixar characters. The collaboration was released in anticipation of the movie ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’, set to be released this summer.  It is also not uncommon for Abley to withdraw inspiration from childhood cartoon characters, one of his previous collections featured token nods to Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’.However, a nod to streetwear is evident in the collection, with a wide range of versatile pieces, appropriate for anyone, on an everyday basis. The streetwear aesthetic is somewhat obscure within Primark’s repertoire of high street wear, clearly stating a youthful, edgier demographic. Streetwear generally encompasses sportswear and commonly centres on items such as jumpers and T-shirts, which are considered comfortable and casual.

Minions and Streetwear? Together? It could be considered a brave move for a designer to merge cartoon characters and streetwear in such a way, creating trendy pieces for the every-day individual. Universal Brand Development, who manages the intellectual property of the Minion movie characters, released a statement stating that the Primark range is the outcome of “creative execution curated and directed by Bobby Abley himself”. It is going to be hard to ignore this flamboyant collection as there is set to be window displays with online and social media campaigns running alongside.

The collaboration fails to disappoint with a bold colour palette of yellow and black adorning the pieces in both simple and extravagant patterns. However, it diverges from Primark’s usual ideology, reflecting Abley’s influence with the streetwear style of the garments. It is clear that it was Abley’s goal to make a stand-out collection, easily distinctive when browsing the stores. 

Featuring T-shirts, long-sleeves, hoodies, sweaters, shorts and more, the collection for both men and women is adorned with these daring colours, striking patterns and eye-catching applique. As co-ords are still in the height of fashion, the black and grey Minion print crop top and matching cycling shorts is an essential combination for the imminent summer… or even for the gym! The top retails at just £5 and the shorts £7. An easily accessible and affordable purchase, achieving an effortlessly streetwear appearance.

The black long-sleeved Minion top can be described as casual, stylish and subtle for a fashionable look that includes a reference to both the designer and the characters. This top retails at just £10 – a total steal and idea for those on a student budget.

One of the stand-out pieces is the yellow minion top, an ideal garment to make a statement – the top says, ‘Not only do I have style, but I also have fun’; allowing the wearer to express their individuality. Again, this can be achieved for just £10! 

Overall, the price range for the collection is between £5-£16 which are not  bad prices considering that fact that it is a stylish streetwear collection straight off the London Fashion Week Runway. 

Landing just one day after the catwalk show, Abley and Primark were evidently adhering to the new “See new, Buy new” motto that it permeating the industry today – allowing the designs show on runways to be accessed as soon as possible rather than customers having to wait for them to be released into stores. Abley is a king of fast fashion, and Primark is no stranger to this industry either.

Available in Primark stores across the UK and Europe, this collection is an essential for fashion-conscious lovers of the Despicable Me characters.