MA Studies > Fashion communication > Fashion communication alumnus > Nijntje Man Yee To

Nijntje Man Yee To

Is Nijntje a fashion icon for adult?

For my project, I wish to ascertain Nijntje to be a fashion icon for adult. 
WHY did I choose this theme for my project? 

The artist who is a source of inspiration to me is Dick Bruna. I’m always fascinated by his works because of his unique and 'simple' works that leave space for imagination. I can recognize his work easily. His most iconic design is Nijntje (“Miffy” in English). I can say I am enthusiastic about the Netherlands because of this icon. I have been in love with Nijntje for more than 10 years now because of her cuteness. She has a great impact on me. Although Nijntje is a character with a very simple outline and there is not much facial expression, she tells a lot by her little movements/small changes of her body together with her surroundings and background images. In Asian countries, the products of Nijntje are not only for children, but also for the grown-ups. However, Nijntje is only for small children in Western countries. Why is there is such a big difference? This arouses my curiosity to find out the answers.   
Questions I ask myself for this project: 
- 1/ There are Nijntje products particularly for adults in Asian countries. I can see the potential for the expansion of the target group, but WHY is Nijntje only for children in Europe and not for adult like in Asian countries? 

- 2/ Competitors like Disney characters and Hello Kitty have wider target groups. They even cooperate with H&M, Anteprima, Nike etc. I wonder why Nijntje can’t be the same? 

- 3/ How can Nijntje be a fashionable icon? 

- 4/ What are the connections between these cartoon icons and self-identification?  

- 5/ How are people affected by the cartoon icons in fashion? 

- 6/ How did merchandise influence the role of Nijntje in fashion? What /how does it communicate?

HOW I would like to do the research? 
- 1/ Interviews with the general public to find out the image of Nijntje in their mind and to find possibilities for the expansion of Nijntje to a high end fashion image 

- 2/ Find out the successful secrets of the competitors in terms of fashion business  

- 3/ Interview with Dick Bruna, Mercis bv. and Centraal Museum  

- 4/ Explore the relationship between these icons and subculture 
- 5/ Examine the history of the icons and their meaning to the public in fashion field 

- 6/ Find out the target group(s) of the existing products from Nijntje and the message behind them 

In summary, I will identify the position of Nijntje through the history of the cartoon icons, subculture issues, media, branding, merchandising, in order to blend it into a new fashion icon.