After a lot of hype and a lot of controversy, Barneys has unveiled its “Electric Holiday” windows, a collaboration with Disney. Last night Madison Avenue in front of Barneys was blocked off, Sarah Jessica Parker was there hosting in mouse ears (though they looked more Maison Michel than Minnie), and guests wore light-up mouse ears. More on that later.
The campaign is a meeting of the high fashion world of Barneys and the iconic cartoon world of Disney. Cartoon versions of the fashion industry’s key players are depicted all over Barneys windows and walls (see ‘em here). The cornerstone of the campaign is a five minute animated short in which Minnie Mouse stares lovingly at a Lanvin dress and has a Paris fashion fantasy, leading to her winding up walking a runway show. When she hits the runway, Tinkerbell taps her wand, and Minnie magically morphs into supermodel proportions. This was the source of the Internet outrage. Two petitions with a combined 200,000 plus signatures launched online to protest the new “skinny Minnie” and the horrible role model she set for young girls.
But watch the five minute short, which debuted last night, and tell us if you’re outraged.
Sure, Minnie morphs into a rail thin supermodel for a trip down the runway in Paris–but then she goes back to her normal self, still wearing the Lanvin dress she modeled on the runway (Mickey bought it for her because he’s awesome).
Barneys Creative Ambassador-at-Large Simon Doonan hadn’t even heard of the backlash. “I don’t know about that,” he told us. “I think it’s a celebration of the real Minnie because at the end she’s her real fabulous self.” We’d have to agree. The video not only seems harmless, but pretty damn adorable.
“Everyone loves Minnie,” Doonan added. “I think she has a natural je ne sais quoi. She’s a natural beauty. She always has a lot of pinache–like yellow shoes, polka dots, a bow–it’s statements. It’s not timid.”
Take a look. What do you think?