Minnie Mouse is becoming something of a fashionista. And she’s doing it at Forever 21.
Walt Disney Co. in Burbank has collaborated with downtown L.A.-based fast-fashion retail chain on Minnie-inspired apparel and accessories called Minnie Muse. The chain started selling the Minnie Muse items, such as T-shirts, leggings and jewelry, nationwide this month. Each item retails for less than $30.
Disney has been placing its retail spotlight on dolls and play sets for young girls centered on the princess theme, and the Forever 21 collaboration shows that the company is looking to reach a somewhat older market with different characters, said Laura Martin, a senior analyst who follows Disney for New York investment banking firm Needham & Co.
“Strategically, it’s clever because it tries to extend Disney out of the princess line and into a slightly older demographic,” said Martin, who rates Disney stock a hold. “Maybe this is the first step in trying to create a meaningful brand around Minnie Mouse.”
Disney approached Forever 21 in the spring and soon came up with the idea of using Minnie Mouse as the character that would be best to feature on a line of clothing and accessories. So Disney artist John Quinn reinvented Minnie with longer legs and stylish outfits, and then handed his drawings to Forever 21 designers, who used them to create the clothes and accessories.
Forever 21 is licensing Minnie Mouse from Disney and paying the company a royalty fee. Forever 21 also is retailing certain Minnie Muse products made by other Disney licensees.
Stephen Teglas, vice president and general manager of fashion and home at Disney’s business unit, Disney Consumer Products, said the company wanted to work with Forever 21 because it’s a popular store among teens and twentysomethings.
“They have a strong sensibility of who their customer is and they are able to constantly deliver to their customer,” Teglas said.
Forever 21 staged an event at its Hollywood & Highland location two weeks ago to launch the Minnie Muse collection.
Teglas said Disney wants to collaborate with the chain in the future on more fashion based on more characters.
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