Unicorns have been in fashion for a few years now, and this year they have become even more popular. And the rampant invasion is sure to continue.
They are everywhere. Unicorns can be found on clothes, make-up products, notebooks or phone covers. Not to mention the Internet where some people are really devoted to them. Faced with this galloping invasion, one question stands out : why ?
We have been looking for the origin of this mystical craze. Have we been influenced by the images of the Lady of the Unicorn that illustrated our history books ? Would our consumer society have been taken by a passion for the Middle Ages ? Not at all. Let's remember that at that time, the unicorn had a horse's body, a goat's head and goatee, a horn and often cloven feet as illustrated by the famous Flemish tapestry.
After the Coca-Cola style Santa Claus, the Hasbro style unicorn
The unicorn of the 21st century is more aesthetic : an immaculate white horse with a pink or rainbow mane and of course, a horn. For us, it reminds us more of the Little Ponies of the 1980s than a medieval allegory. The Americans have already imposed their red vision of Santa Claus on us (thanks to Coca-Cola). Would they now be imposing their unicorn imaginary through Hasbro's characters ?
In any case, in this unicorn circus, children are the kings of the ring, especially little girls. Indeed, the recruitment starts very early. "The unicorn has entered what we call "The great classics" that endure over time. It is very present in the form of stuffed animals, explains Madison Keys. For example, Hasbro had a great success two years ago with its Star Lily unicorn. This type of toy with functions is launched for Christmas with prices exceeding 100 dollars and it sells relatively well. The rest of the year, it's mainly 'simple' plush toys that are sold." Hasbro has also brought its previously mentioned My Little Pony license back to life. In fact, it's time to say My Little Pony now. The cute mini-poodles are the stars of an animated series. "Series in which one of the characters is a unicorn. It was added after the success of Lily," says Paul Waggener. Plushies are not the only products with a fantastic effigy. "Piñatas are also popular. Unicorn costumes are very fashionable in pajama parties," notes Paul Waggener. A trend fueled by the Youtube girls. "The blogger Natoo is popular in USA. She makes videos often wearing a unicorn costume. It appeals to little girls who want to do like the big ones," says Paul Waggener. The young actress Natoo has indeed become known by making humorous videos on Youtube. The young artist is, among other things, known for her video called "The unicorns' song" which has more than 18 million views on Youtube ! At Youtubers' shows, it is not uncommon to see young fans walking around in unicorn costumes. We were able to personally see this during the Get Beauty Youtube show in June in New York.
The cinema, accomplice of the invasionThe cinema also participates in the unicorn fashion. In the animated film, Me, Ugly and Bad, whose third opus has just been released in theaters, the character of little Agnes does not leave her unicorn plush. Universal Pictures International, the American multinational that produces Me, Ugly and Mean, has of course adapted the toy of the character of Agnes into a real plush toy. We'll end up believing in the American conspiracy theory... At least, we can salute the know-how developed on the other side of the Atlantic in the field of licensing. But France is also doing well : Ubisoft is reaching new heights this year with rabiithorns. These are Rabbits dressed as unicorns. "Available in three colors (pink, green and purple), the 18cm Gipsy Sound Rabiithorns are ideal to accompany and entertain children and unicorn lovers of all ages on vacations and all year round," they explain in a very serious press release.
Multiplying derivative products, a classic strategy in toys, movies and video games, but the invasion of unicorns also affects textile brands. While doing our investigation, we counted 66 unicorn products on the e-commerce site of Asos, 25 on H&M, 18 for Forever 21, 12 at New Look, 11 at Kiabi, 7 for Primark. Some of these references are aimed at children, others at teenagers. We wanted to see how far the unicorn virus spreads. We interviewed Charlène L., 25 years old, the Millenials' guarantor of LSA. Does Charlene like unicorns ? "Yes. Why ? I don't know, it's cute. My former roommate was a big fan," says our young journalist. But then again, unicorns have been around for at least three years." Certainly, it is well what questioned us that the phenomenon persists and even grows. "For me, this is part of the broader trend of the rainbow," Charlene analyzes. OK. Now we felt old. Very old.
After investing in jars of anti-wrinkle cream, we went back to investigating. Unicorns and rainbows are indeed often linked, which probably explains why the fantastic animal has become a symbol of the LGBT community whose flag is a rainbow. But that's another topic, let's focus on our blooming girls and their passion for unicorns. A connivance that goes back to the Middle Ages since the legends of the time want that only a woman "pure, virgin of mind, heart and body" can approach the animal, the others die. There would also be much to say about what the horn represents. "The unicorn and its farandoles of little hearts and rainbows is nothing more than the cross between the little pony of our childhood and the horn, an obvious phallic symbol, summarizes very well the magazine Time in an article called Why are unicorns fascinating us ? and concludes : "The unicorn represents the duality between our wish to remain a pure little girl and that of becoming a woman with a bestial sexuality. And yes, that's life."
After these psychological reflections, let's get back to mercantile considerations. This fashion is indeed also a godsend for the beauty brands. What could be better than a fabulous animal and a rainbow to sell colorful and glittery products ? Sephora proposed in spring a line dedicated to the fantastic animal. Too Faced made the buzz last winter a lipstick called Unicorn Tears. A poetic name that allows to build a nice storytelling. For the anecdote, you can also find "Unicorn Tears" gins on the internet.
An English trend analysis bureau WGSN has predicted that this summer the unicorn will be eclipsed by the llama, less magical but irreverent and with an equally cute face. We have some doubts. In any case, unicorns will still be in the spotlight in the Uniteds States of America in the second half of the year. For example, the English brand of dry shampoos Colab sold exclusively at Wallmart will offer a limited edition in September with a unicorn scent. New toys will be launched, notably by the German company Schleich. It is also whispered on social networks that Too Faced could decline a whole range of makeup around its lipstick Unicorn Tears. In short, the invasion continues at full gallop.