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Disney Dresses Up with Fashion

If you think Disney licensing is all about mass merchant toys and T-shirts, think again.

Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 this week rolls out a limited-edition Disney Pixar capsule collection of women’s, men’s and kids’s clothing and accessories that feature character portraits of Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Dory, Nemo, Mike Wazowski and others along with phrases that play off the characters. (Think “Buzz Worthy” and “Monster Crew.”)

It’s one of two recent retail collaborations—the other is with U.K. retailer Cath Kidston, which next month will debut Winnie the Pooh prints for women’s and kids’ apparel, bags and homeware—that illustrate Disney’s recent push into fashion with both its classic and contemporary brands. Disney’s 2016 deals run the gamut from low to high fashion and from apparel to cosmetics.

“We’re in the midst of a Disney cultural renaissance of sorts,” declared this summer, in a column answering the question “What’s with all these Disney fashion collaborations?”

“Designers and artists around the world are attracted to iconic Disney characters because of their pop cultural appeal,” Heather Laing-Obstbaum, Disney Consumer Products’ VP Product Development, Soft Lines, told the website.

Disney, the world’s No. 1 licensor of entertainment/character merchandise, showcased its recent fashion forays in Destination: Disney Style, a five-part original YouTube series hosted by YT influencers showing Disney collaborations in fashion capitals around the globe. Individual episodes focus on the Forever 21 and Cath Kidston collections, as well as Tokyo Disney street style, Minnie Mouse-inspired designs from Chinese designers at Shanghai Fashion Week and Disney x Coach, which pairs Mickey Mouse with the high-end leather goods.

Other Disney fashion deals over the past few months include:

  • Designer Trina Turk created the first Disney designer beachwear with Finding Dory.
  • Fashion line Kenzo sold a limited-edition apparel line for men and women, inspired by spring theatrical release The Jungle Book, exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman.
  • Beauty retailer Sephora earlier this year launched Disney Minnie Beauty By Sephora Collection of color cosmetics and accessories.
  • Sephora stores also sell an Alice Through the Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette from Urban Decay.

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