What happens when an international icon finally receives the Hollywood Walk of Fame star she so deserves? You celebrate with a designer collaboration, of course. At the peak moment of Disney-meets well, all of fashion, Coach is grabbing the torch and spearheading the latest collection featuring none other than Minnie Mouse herself. Hot off the heels of Minnie earning her long deserved star (FYI, Mickey's had his for 40 years, so yeah, even female cartoon characters face gender inequality in the workspace), Coach has just launched a 19-piece special-edition offering.
Bringing back the Disney x Coach frenzy, the collection features handbags, ready-to-wear, and, for true Disneyphiles, a collectible Minnie Mouse doll crafted in pebble leather. As for the aesthetic, expect a perfect mash-up of Minnie's traditional style — polka dots, pink and red, nods to her vintage outfits — with Coach's Americana vibe. Stuart Vevers, Coach's creative director, shared: "It was kind of about bringing the icons of Minnie Mouse and the references of Coach together." In a release from the brand, they liken the collaboration to a meeting of minds; Minnie's imitable style meets "sophisticated and cool take juxtaposed with her fun spirit and femininity." While the details are all Minnie Mouse, the silhouettes are signature Coach. Polka dots are are reinvented in glittery and polished rivets, and retro Disney patches decorate hoodies and varsity jackets for an equally nostalgic yet modern feel.
But making Disney chic is not always an easy task. Only so many brands can trademark a silhouetted Mickey on a crewneck sweatshirt. So what better hands to leave it in than a self professed Disney-obsessed? When we sat down with Vevers, there was little doubt about his excitement to take on the project. He explained: "I really love Disney...it's definitely been me whose really pushed for these collections. Even in our [pre-fall] collection, we referenced the kind of dark side of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and took graphics from the animated films so it's just something that I love." This is far from Coach's first time making waves with Disney. Back in 2016, Coach released a Mickey collection that sold out, fast. The label saw so much success with it that it recreated a similar collection for its outlet stores with products that later made their way onto Disney's relaunched ShopDisney site.
As for Disney, it's been seeing a new market in millennials willing to dish out for luxury goods. From a Kenzo x The Jungle Book collection to Marc Jacobs' sweatshirts to Minnie Mouse's impressive resume of custom designed looks, luxury Disney fashion is proving itself to be the "it" thing. Even Vevers understands the love for Disney in the current marketplace. "I didn't go [to the Disney parks] as a kid so I watched the films and I remember going to the cinema to see the animated films so obviously...and I think that's why I love to go today. I get really excited and when I walk into the park, it's like this moment of escapism and joy." And in case you were wondering if the greater population is willing to shell out a large chunk of cash on a designer Donald Duck sweatshirt, the answer is yes. Vevers shed some of his own insight on the new meaning behind luxury: "Where luxury used to mean an investment, something formal, something sober...some of those old rules are just changing — a sneaker or a sweatshirt, a playful backpack. A cartoon character can be in the world of luxury today and I think that's kind of synonymous with a bigger shift in fashion which I think has been happening over the last few years and I think it allows for some more irreverence and some more unexpected hookups like this and I think that's what it comes down to." We're apt to agree when some of luxury's top-selling trends no longer revolve around Goyard totes, but instead more street-style wares, like athleisure.
But the number one Disney fan said it best: "Who says Minnie Mouse and luxury can't sit together," Vevers added. "I think it's about challenging some of those old rules. Why can't you invest in a bag that's inspired by Minnie Mouse? It's fun. It's playful." And what's a better investment than spending it on something you love?
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