New York City and Disney World might be located at opposite ends of the country, but last night the two converged on Madison Avenue to unveil Barneys New York’s “Electric Holiday” campaign. In celebration of the holidays, Barneys and Disney have collaborated on a short animated film featuring dressed-up versions of their classic characters alongside cartoon versions of some of fashion’s most famous figures. “They brought their beloved characters and we brought some beloved real fashion work characters,” Barneys’s CEO Mark Lee told The Daily Beast of the collaboration, “It’s truly a dream, and is really all about the magic of Disney.”
As a precursor to the premiere, the store had cleared out an entire floor’s worth of merchandise and redesigned the space with black wall tapestries and tiny filament lights for an “electric” celebration. An array of fried food was plucked by tailored investors along with glassfuls of punch beleaguered with LED ice cubes instead. On display was the limited edition Disney-themed merchandise that Barneys will hawk in the merry months to come, like mouse ears designed by L’Wren Scott and Rag & Bone.
There are also locked diaries and hooded towels baring neon silhouettes of Daffy Duck and Goofy available for prices far more reasonable than the $1,600 Balenciaga booties retailing three floors above. Looking down, it was clear who these items are intended for—the army of sugar high children who were weaving between older guest’s legs with light-up sippy cups in hand. But as the crowd’s band of 20-somethings griped, Simon Doonan was in full support of Barneys’s family Christmas. “Gay, straight, everybody seems to have kids nowadays,” he told The Daily Beast, “The holidays are not a time to be remote and bitchy, the holidays are a time to be fun and warm and colorful and welcoming.”
A radio announcement signaled that the party was headed outside to witness the night’s big reveal. Excited for the premiere, supermodel Crystal Renn explained, “I think fashion is all about being a character and being an individual and Disney is all about individual characters, so then marrying the two together makes a lot of sense.”
It was an Orlando-worthy scene, with enough Proenza Schouler PS1 bags and cigarettes to make up for the crowd’s lack of fanny packs and turkey legs, respectively. Each guest was provided a pair of light-up mouse ears that were radio controlled by the event’s producers—they simultaneously flashed blue as Sarah Jessica Parker, the evening’s host, took the stage along with Lee and Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, to introduce the film. Tinkerbell appeared with a wand and fluttered about as the film began to role. Peering down Madison Avenue with the city’s skyline and smoke flumes aglow as Mickey Mouse and friends cavorted onscreen in Balmain and Nina Ricci, it seemed as if Disney had just made a serious case for opening a satellite park somewhere close by. The film ended and Minnie Mouse appeared in custom Lanvin. A crack was heard, and glitter exploded overhead, signaling the official start of Barneys’s holiday season.