Monday, May 3, 2010

You’ll Love It! Welcome to the Pucca World

You’ve probably seen the vivacious, maybe a bit headlong too, character “Pucca.” She has gained wild popularity in Europe and Asia since its creation in 2002 by a South Korean company, VOOZ co., Ltd.

Pucca is an 11-year old girl, daughter of Chinese noodle house owners, and her boyfriend “Garu” is a serious, hardworking boy deeply engaged in pursuing martial arts.

Pucca originally debuted online as a series of flash-animated shorts and is known for its “silent comedy” factor, creating humor with almost no spoken words mixed with a strong universal theme of love.

2010 Pucca Exhibition is being held at the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) from March 10 to last through May 10.

The exhibition showcases a collection of Pucca fashions ranging from clothes, bags, shoes to jewelry. This is a distinct leap from the usual character products that almost always consist of small little stationery items targeted at children. Now Pucca is seeking differentiation. It is knocking on the door to the grown-up world with fancy, high-fashion items.

A Mature Pucca! Growing with the Global Trend

The exhibition includes a rundown of Pucca’s history; Pucca reinterpreted as a grown-up figure; Pucca style guide and “how-to-match” examples.

While there are many items that directly apply Pucca characters as prints and logos, there also are items that take a more conceptual reinterpretation such as by incorporating the shapes and the meanings contained in Pucca. It’s an attempt at a new fashion, combining design, art, and character.

Ms. Baek Hee, who is in charge of designing Pucca bags, commented, “For this exhibition, we worked with the core Pucca concept: “Fun Love & Power Love.” Also, we tried to incorporate various fashion elements to present a mature version of Pucca.”

“Fashion brands such as Gucci are making efforts these days to approach consumers with more innovative and singular designs. Pucca is quite well known already in the global markets, and has great potential to become a world-class brand,” Ms. Baek added.

Ms. Lee Kyung-Eun, Deputy-Director at Global Business Department of the KOCCA which hosted the exhibition, explained, “People usually think of cheap, childish stationery when they hear “character products.” But Pucca aspires to break away from such a perception and to evolve into a high value-added fashion brand. We hope this exhibition can suggest a direction for the future character industry.”

Ms. Lee also emphasized, “It is very important to shake off the notion that character products are for children. In case of Barbie, for example, they launched an adult fashion line called “Barbie’s Boutique.” With Pucca, too, we plan to target women in their twenties.”

Everybody has a memory of cherishing a character product or another as a kid. The character industry is indeed huge and has a long, long history. America’s flagship character Mickey Mouse by Walt Disney, for example, is already over 60 years old. Regardless, Mickey Mouse products are still loved by people of all ages and genders, and the price also ranges from very affordable to very expensive.

Like the term “Kidult,” there are a growing number of adults who enjoy youth culture, including character products.

Let’s hope Korea will delight people of all ages of the world with many more characters like Pucca!

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