Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle Collab Priced out Fans

An illustration featuring items from Loewe's new Howl's Moving Castle line.

All of sudden, it seems like luxury clothing brands have fallen head over heels for anime. The brands’ devotion is so profound that, of course, they have to pay homage to their favorite shows via new purses, shoes, capes, and cardigans. The resulting lines are, of course, glorious—too bad they’re so expensive that the only thing I can probably afford is a candle. And only if I decide I don’t want to eat food.

That’s exactly how I felt when I saw Loewe’s new Howl’s Moving Castle collection as I walked past the store in Madrid. Nestled at the center of one of the store’s display windows was a beautiful mini leather bag adorned with a wide-eyed Calcifer ($2,180) that shouldn’t have worked, but it did. In another window was one of the most beautiful long coats I’ve ever seen, covered nearly entirely with jewels like the ones found in Howl’s room. It was a beautiful tribute ($8,400), but certainly not worth selling my kidney or any organ for.

Upon browsing through the rest of the collection, I gasped and gawked, but still felt no need to go into debt. The most expensive item in Loewe’s Howl’s Moving Castle collection was a purse that was nearly a perfect replica of Calcifer’s castle, which runs for $12,780. It was followed by an absolutely breathtaking wool cardigan with feathers ($9,480) that looks like it was taken from one of the movie’s stills and a huge, colorful poncho featuring a young Howl catching Calcifer (also $9,480).

A screenshot of the Loewe Howl cardigan with feathers.

Tired of seeing things I couldn’t afford, I scrolled to the very bottom of the page in hopes of finding Loewe’s more accessible items. In a lone row all by itself, at least on my computer, sat the cheapest item: a $225 black candle with Calcifer’s face stuck on the side. Sure, it was cute, but it was definitely not that cute. Theoretically, I could afford it if I wanted to skimp on groceries for a few weeks. I’m sure its smoky notes of incense, patchouli, and roasted hazelnut will make me forget about that silly thing called food. (It’s a joke, please don’t stop eating to buy this stuff from Loewe, y’all).

Although I’m no fashion expert, I never imagined that Loewe, which was responsible for Rihanna’s red jumpsuit and custom corset at the Super Bowl, would make a Howl’s Moving Castle collection. This isn’t the brand’s first collaboration with Studio Ghibli—it’s also made collections based on Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. However, the brand’s eye-popping prices seem weirdly mismatched with Studio Ghibli’s family-friendly image.

If Studio Ghibli wanted to do a fashion collab, you would think they would partner with a brand that most families and fans could actually afford. And hey, if you can afford these gorgeous clothes, snaps for you! Send me pictures so I can live vicariously through you.

You can check out some of the most memorable pieces of Loewe’s jaw-dropping Howl’s Moving Castle collection in the following slides.

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