In 1971, illustrator Roger Hargreaves created a drawing named "Mr Tickle" to demonstrate the meaning of tickling to his son Adam - a round, orange figure with long, bendy arms. The first Mr Men character was born over 40 years later, the Mr Men and Little Miss family, now with more than 90 characters are cherished across the world, by all ages. After Hargreaves death in 1988, his son Adam Hargreaves began writing and illustrating new stories, including for character that his father had developed before his death.
The character's appeal lies in their simplicity. Straightforward, thick-outlined,colorful illustrations, their personalities and physical attributes based on their names. Mr Grumpy, Little Miss Sunshine, Mr Greedy, Little Miss Chatterbox. Clever, as one can think of a person who is like each one of them. The storybooks, come in a satisfying small size, and at an affordable price.
Hargreaves designs have even been adopted by the fashion industry. In October 2006, Adam Hargreaves created the first Little Miss character based on a real person, Stella McCartney, which he names Little Miss Stella. This was published as a limited edition of 1,00 copies for use as invitations for her S/S07 show and was later used for a capsule children's wear collection.
This year two unofficial fashion interpretations were born -Mr Yohji, and Little Miss Rei Kawakubo. Rendered in monochrome, both make use of each designer's trademark characteristics - a goaty beard and a blunt fringed bob, respectively.
This month, French store Colette will be hosting a special Mr Men and Little Miss collaboration. A selection of unique illustrations in black, white and blue will adorn t-shirts, iPhone cases, skateboards and pin badges.
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