When you think of Disney characters like Minnie Mouse you probably think of the iconic pink polka dot dresses and matching hair-bows. But high-end department store, Barneys, might change that image with its latest holiday ad-campaign.
The fashion industry giant has teamed up with Disney to feature classic characters in a high-end fashion show, and given the characters an extreme make-over. And we’re not talking slapping some makeup on and giving them a blowout. We’re talking serious body changes as Minnie is stretched out to 5’11’’ and Daisy Duck has legs as long as stilts.
The original idea was to pay homage to the Disney characters for the ad Campaign called “Electric Holiday,” which will debut at Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship store on November 14, but the creative forces behind the project had an issue with the looks of the timeless classics.
The campaign will feature a small film about Minnie Mouse’s dream to attend Paris Fashion Week and walk down the runway, but Barney’s creative director Dennis Freedman said he couldn’t envision the characters rocking high-end designer duds in their original toon-ish shapes.
“When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion. The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models,” he said in an interview.
And these apparent runway models will play the part with Mickey Mouse dressed in Balenciaga, Goofy in Balmain, Daisy Duck will wear a chic Dolce & Gabbana dress, Snow White will rock Nina Ricci, and Princess Tiana will model a Proenza Schouler outfit.
As you would probably imagine, not everyone is onboard with the idea. There has been a backlash from those who think this move will encourage body image issues in young girls who look up to the characters and others are annoyed that their childhood characters are barely recognizable in the updated looks, with some bloggers labeling them as “sickly” and “anorexic.”
Also worth mentioning is that this isn’t the first time Disney characters have dabbled in the fashion world. Smurfette recently appeared in Harper’s Bazaar magazine last year, wearing designer accessories and Minnie is set to have a real life fashion show next year in London during Spring Fashion Week. But all those pale in comparison with this newest endeavor, which definitely stretches the imagination.
Wherever you might stand on the issue, you can’t help but gawk at these transformed characters. Behold the high-end, fashionable, Disney icons.