Naf Naf Ken®
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Naf Naf Ken
M#: 10998 BD: 1993 HC: Painted Brown. C: Blue denim pants with red stitching and "Naf Naf" appliqué down left leg. Matching jacket with multi-color print yoke. Yellow tank top. Green multi-color print baseball hat with red/yellow bill. A: Red, yellow and multi-color green print bag. Green swim trunks with "Naf Naf" appliqué. White tennis shoes. Sheet of "Naf Naf" stickers.
Lights! Camera! Fashion!
Similar to United Color of Benetton's campaign (which spawned United Colors of Benetton Ken and United Colors of Benetton Shopping Ken), France's Naf Naf clothing stores will use the Barbie line to showcase their brand. Naf-Naf SA manufactures and distributes clothes mainly for young women and teenagers as well as for men and children through its own network of retail shops in France and abroad. The group has 160 shops in Europe. The clothes are distributed throughout 45 countries in 4 continents. Relying strongly on brand recognition (Naf Naf and Chevignon), the group also operates some license agreements for accessories such as perfumes, shoes and bags, glasses, underwear, household linen, watches and stationery. In fiscal 2000 Naf-Naf sold its three Portuguese subsidiaries and on September 6th 1999 it acquired S. Clair (Diapositive) SA.
From the Naf Naf website at http://www.nafnaf-sa.com/va/home/ the history of these Barbie versions can explain what was happening with the company at the time. "1983, NAFNAF came out with its famous boiler suit, which revolutionized the textile industry. It was a simple invention: boiler suits were cut out of cotton cloth which could be dyed any color, and were then stamped with the famous logo, consisting of a truck and the company's telephone number. NAFNAF sold three million suits almost immediately. The following year, the company brought out Franck Davidovici's "le grand méchant look" campaign (which won the Art Directors' Club first prize). NAFNAF became known on the international scene for its colorful, young, and feminine clothing." This would explained the over logo look of the three Barbie versions created in 1993.
ABOVE: Naf Naf will drop Men's clothing out of the Naf Naf brand and purchase a separate Menswear line called Chevignon in 1994.
Presently, the Naf Naf brand name is exclusively Womenswear. The Menswear line is now under the Chevignon brand name. This came about in the summer of 1994, as Chevignon was bought out by the NAF NAF Group. With this purchase, both brands history would be intertwined. The history of Chevignon dates back to the1970s, when "a young man stumbled onto an interesting business in Avignon : a group of friends had started a clothing business selling items found in secondhand clothes stores and bringing over American merchandise. The young man -- Guy Azoulay -- started out by cutting jackets in vintage leather and founded Charles Chevignon several months later, in 1979. In 1981, Azoulay, the young designer and CEO of Chevignon launched his vintage leather line, which became an instant hit on the teen-age market. The company quadrupled its turnover in less than two years. Chevignon's success revealed that French youth were infected with the American Dream of the 1950s, whose mythic emblem was the leather jacket."
As a collector, it may have been more fun to see a Chevignon Ken. I wish NAFNAF would have waited for one more year. Just the same, it is nice to know that European designers are eager to use Ken to promote their fashion. It would also be fun to see more designer Ken dolls in the future. A Designer series for him showcasing the Menswear designers would be great and well received. Like the NafNaf Ken box back states on a post card "Getting there is half the fun!"
ABOVE: Naf Naf Barbie #10997 and Midge #10999 were also available. In the middle is the newer 2001 Naf Naf "Women's" logo which is updated from the colorful unisex logo of 1993.