The world of retail and fashion are not really known for living in the moment in terms of looking forward. Just like how you can walk into a Target store today and already be bombarded with Halloween candy and it's not even September. In a similar way that next year's spring fashions are being shown down the runways in New York City in September and the fall in February. It's all about looking ahead and what's next even if the seasons and months don't quite match up. So it wasn't really a surprise to me when Women's Wear Daily reported Barneys upcoming holiday collaboration with Disney this morning. I almost expected it, really, especially with several holiday previews already being exclusively displayed to fashion magazine editors and luxury department store buyers (hint: sneak peeks through editors' and buyers' Instragram and Twitter accounts.)
For the 2012 Holiday Season, Barneys New York is collaborating with Disney on a specialty store campaign titled, Electric Holiday, that will be unveiled in the Madison Avenue flagship store on November 14. The collaboration will feature a three dimensional electric light show, a short film in the window display that will feature Disney's favorite characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse in the likes of runway models, and an original score by Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino. The theme of Electric Holiday is somewhat a play on the bright lights and special lighting in NYC during the holiday season and the flashbulbs at the end of a runway: so basically it will be very bright and colorful.
For the short film that will be produced for the specialty store windows, Barneys worked very closely with the Disney animators to make sure that the fashion aspect of the collaboration stays very true, especially when it comes to the details of the clothes. Barneys' creative director Dennis Freedman said that “The animator and I sat next to each other and went over every detail of the clothes — how they’re made, what material, how they would move — to get them as accurate as we possibly could.” And in order to keep this authenticity throughout the entire creative process Minnie Mouse and the rest of the Disney characters had to also be believable. Meaning they couldn't keep their cartoonish figures and Minnie Mouse was transformed into a 5'11" supermodel lavishly dressed in Lanvin by Alber Elbaz.
The concept of the film centers around Minnie's fantasy to be at a Paris fashion show where she eventually crosses paths with the rest of the Disney cast looking as fashionably chic as she is in their unique designer clothes -- Mickey is dressed by Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga, Goofy by Olivier Rousteing for Balmain, Daisy by Dolce & Gabbana, Cruella by Rick Owens, Princess Tiana by Proenza Schouler and Snow White by Peter Copping for Nina Ricci. Tres chic, yes?
In addition to this specialty shop, Barneys will also have exclusive and limited edition holiday items including several collectible Vinylmation figures designed by Paul Smith and Diane von Furstenberg (both featured below), and Mickey Mouse ears from Rag & Bone and L’Wren Scott. There will also be small gifts like ornaments, edible sweets and children’s toys for the season. And keeping true with the holiday spirit of giving, 25% of the proceeds made from these sales will be donated to charity (yet to be named.) Given the success of Lady Gaga's workshop last year, I think this holiday collaboration will also do incredibly well. It's Disney after all. It speaks well to many grown men and women, children, and the inner child in us all. So mark your calendars ladies and gentlemen, November 14!