Leather x Disney
Written by Victoria Green.
It is an undeniable fact that Mickey and Minnie Mouse have become pop culture icons since their conception in 1928. Mickey Mouse’s creation saved the Walt Disney Company, and those first shorts – including the infamous ‘Steamboat Willie’ – were the foundation upon which the entire Disney empire was built. Though many still consider Disney to be for kids, the brand is universally popular. Mickey and his friends are whimsical, fun, nostalgic; harking back to childhood days and memories. Though in recent years, Disney characters have also become stylish and relevant in the fashion world. No longer just for children, Mickey and Minnie have exploded in popularity, and are now the stars of several luxury leather brands.
The most delightfully outrageous celebration of Disney, leather and individuality has got to be the Irregular Choice X Disney shoe collection. Irregular Choice pride themselves on being different and oh, boy are they something special! Each shoe in the collection gives off a haute couture meets Harajuku vibe, and is an artwork in its own right.
In 2016, Irregular Choice launched the Cinderella collection, combining glitter and oversized bows to produce the modern equivalent of that glass slipper. In 2017, there was the Mickey Mouse & Friends range. Irregular Choice’s shoes are certainly a reminder that leather can be fun too!
Dooney & Bourke are also capitalising on Mickey’s popularity, and has been creating covetable Disney leather-goods for almost 10 years. Founded in Norwalk, CT in 1975, the company are known for their use of quality materials and old world crafting techniques. In 2009, Dooney & Bourke teamed up with Disney to produce one of the most sought after accessories; the Disney “Dooney”. The collection ranges from totes, to messenger bags, satchels, wristlets and more; all of which are available exclusively from the theme parks in Florida and California. Each piece is unique in how it is printed, and often limited release.
Each bag features characters or attractions well known to those who love all things Disney. The collection has celebrated the fun of Walt Disney World and Disneyland with the “Sketch” tote, highlighting classic icons of the parks. The “Dream Big, Princess” range released on the 30th September 2017 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Snow White, which premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles on the 30th September 1937.
Those who shy away from loud statements and prefer more subtlety in their design can look to the COACH X Disney range. The first collection launched in New York in 2016, and featured Disney’s most popular icon, Mickey Mouse. It was created to celebrate COACH’s 75th anniversary, American pop culture and nostalgia. The second collaboration was released in summer 2017, and offered bags, luggage tags, trainers and jackets with embossed or structural nods to everyone’s favourite mouse. It is subtle enough for everyday use, while still giving a nod to your inner Disney fan.
This is by no means where the love story between Disney and leather ends. Luxury leather brand S. T. Dupont has designed a limited collection of Star Wars inspired satchels that scream of urban style and fulfil those fantasies of owning an X-Wing or TIE Fighter. Likewise, Christopher Raeburn prides itself on using responsibly sourced leather to produce soft Mickey and Minnie Mouse shaped rucksacks.
It is a testament to the universal appeal of the Disney brand that the fashion world is so enamoured with Mickey and his friends. It’s happily ever after for us leather snobs too, who can celebrate our love of Disney without compromising on quality of material or design.