Legendary Nickelodeon series SpongeBob SquarePants has been crowned. This month, Black-owned headwear brand Dungeon Forward unveiled its new collection inspired by the series, as part of a new licensing deal with Nickelodeon and Paramount Consumer Products. The three-year deal will also honor other iconic animated shows from Nickelodeon including Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy.
In the capsule are four pieces dedicated to characters of the beloved Nickelodeon series, including Gary, Squidward, Patrick and SpongeBob himself. Currently on sale for $55, each cap has vegan leather brims, custom satin interior lining, double straps for the fit, and a graphic for each respective character under the brim.
Dungeon Forward CEO and design director David Castro spoke with Okayplayer about partnering with Paramount and Nickelodeon after first building a relationship with the brands at a Las Vegas convention in 2020.
“Conversations with Nickelodeon started roughly a year ago as they looked to expand their consumer product offering. Dungeon Forward was coming off a short-term collaboration with Airheads Candy, and the timing was perfect to cultivate a new relationship with the learnings from the last partnership in tuck,” Castro said. “Through the relationship, we gained access to a vast array of properties under the Nickelodeon umbrella, but we chose to launch with SpongeBob because the show is about joy and absolute optimism — something the world could use right now.”
“SpongeBob is also deeply rooted in the culture we connect with, and working with one of the most recognized names in media is a privilege we were grateful to be prepared for,” he added. “As they say, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”
As a TV show beloved for its memes as much as the show itself, Castro also explained how the collection speaks to Black fandom of SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as shared his favorite SpongeBob-inspired meme.
“Black fandom extends the life of creativity in SpongeBob and demonstrates how relatable the situations are. SpongeBob is mentioned on social media every second of every day,” Castro said. “My favorite is the ‘aight I’m out’ meme. Black culture knows how to make things ours and since SpongeBob is of characters with no specific race, it makes it easier for us to relate to them. Creativity in the Black community is rich and abundant and will forever add value instinctually to that which inspires us. ”
Pieces from the SpongeBob x DungeonForward collection are available here.
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