No less than 4 people have forward this NY Times article on the new ‘family lifestyle’ look for The Disney Brand.
The most expensive piece of clothing sold by the Walt Disney Company six years ago was a $75 sweatshirt embossed with a mug shot of Mickey Mouse. By Magic Kingdom decree, home furnishings were required to exhibit at least one Disney character, leading to children’s play rugs ($65, in Pluto) and nightlights ($9.95, in Winnie the Pooh).
Disney still peddles all those things. But now the company also sells $3,900 designer wedding gowns — no characters in sight — and women’s cashmere sweaters “inspired by Tinker Bell.” Interior design offerings include $2,800 leather club chairs and $6,000 chandeliers patterned after the Art Deco décor in Mr. Disney’s former office. One of the company’s new products: couture soap.
Welcome to Disney, the “lifestyle brand.”
Small factual error there. I think they’re forgetting about The Disney Gallery stores where more than a couple high-end items were sold. I’m looking at some crystal embroidered sweaters right now and a few leather jackets as well. While those were much more than $75, they did not approach the furnishings and wedding gowns mentioned above.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking for Disney to forcefully enter this market since the late 90s. The Disney Gallery was their first stab. Unfortunately it was sacrificed in the failed push to outsource The Disney Store to Sears, Target, Wal-Mart, and eventually sold in whole to The Children’s Place.
This new multi-pronged approach makes it more difficult for the serious collector to keep track of, but certain lends a ubiquitous feel to the Disney brand. It’s no longer just entertainment, something fans of Disney’s theme parks an animation art have known for a long time, but it’s also a way of life.
So I look forward to more from Disney on this avenue. Hopefully they’ll also produce some more affordable pieces. Not everyone can afford Drexel Heritage Furnishing or Dolce & Gabbana Mickey Mouse Scarves.