Disney Characters As Runway Models: Minnie & Friends Get An Extreme Slimdown For Barneys Campaign

This morning, WWD brought word that Barneys will collaborate with Disney on the retailer’s holiday campaign, to be called “Electric Holiday” (a play on the Magic Kingdom’s famed Electric Parade). When unveiled in November, Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship will feature a “three-dimensional electric light show; a moving art short film in the window displays that will turn Disney’s most favorite heroes into runway supermodels and fashion regulars into Disney types, and an original score by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino.”

Hold on, now… beloved Disney characters as runway models? Why? Because fuck your childhood. They’re putting Minnie, Daisy, Goofy and the rest on restrictive diets, lengthening their legs and giving them coquettish expressions. Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman explains:

“What is really important in the film is getting all of the details of how that world works. That was the real challenge and involved a whole education process. 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.”

Wait for it…

“When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion. The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.”

Freedman even took a model to meetings in Glendale, Calif., “to walk the hallways of Disney, and they studied how she walked. I said, ‘You can’t make the film without understanding every detail of how she walks, what her facial expression is, and how she stares ahead.’”

In other words, Minnie Mouse, cartoon character beloved by millions of children, was too fat for Lanvin. So, they did what they had to do: take something nice and limit it to celery, coke and suppositories for a few weeks. Only then could Minnie become the face of Barneys. Can’t an innocent, unsexy cartoon mouse just stay that way?

Since the internet loves a good “beloved childhood thing as [x]” trope, we wonder…

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

While we’re at it, here’s Daisy in Dolce & Gabbana:

And Goofy in Balmain:

Share This Post:
    • Katie

      This is the kind of stuff that just makes me hate the fashion industry.

    • gaia

      I don’t understand why this needed to happen.

    • Fabel

      I admit, I think it’s cute because I’m one of those people who loves the “beloved childhood thing as [x]” trope. But ick, the whole dialogue is gross (“Minnie Mouse will not look so great in a Lanvin dress”? Seriously?)

      • bean

        Yes! It didn’t bother me at all until I got that line and I was immediately like, “Fuck. Off.”

    • samwise

      they dont look like the right characters, they look like giant heads on the wrong bodies

    • NotThumper

      This is absurd. I can’t help but think that Walt Disney is rolling in his grave right about now…

    • Kate Messinger

      This is like when you google “Aladdin cartoon” and somehow end up watching an animated porn of Jasmin getting banged by Jafar and her tiger.

      It’s that bad.

    • Sarah

      All of the weird “childhood icons as succubi” things are very bad, yes, but sort of expected from Barneys. What really weirds me out is that they’re all drawn as white people wearing costume heads–they all have human hands and manicured nails and they’re all secretly Caucasian under their disney suits. False. Goofy has jet-black skin (fur?) and gloves for hands, damnit.

    • A concerned individual

      This article and concept are purely disgusting. I find it ridiculous that there are actually people in this world who claim that in order for a person or character to look acceptable or attractive, they have to be of a certain height and skeletal build. Not only is such physical depiction shallow…it is also extremely unrealistic and unattainable by healthy means. There is an epidemic of girls, women, boys, and men in this world who are trapped in a life of self-loathing because the media and high powered fashion executives jam hateful images and expectations down their throats. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. People are beautiful because they are unique, individual, and themselves. How dare you take a beloved set of characters and defile them in this way. Your actions are selfish and have serious repercussions. There will be children who injure themselves as a direct result of what they’ve seen in your fashion magazines and news articles, who starve themselves to adapt to an image that was never meant to be embodied. I pray that there are enough people working towards acceptance and the true definition of beauty to reverse the harm that you are initiating. The characters you’ve pictured here are hideous and deformed…the clothing equally repulsive. Looking at the concept art makes me sick, and gratefully, I see its doing the same to others as well. That tells me that there’s still some sense that exists in this world.

      • Spastastic

        “You all should be ashamed of yourselves”

        Wait, are you directing this towards the writers of The Gloss? They didn’t do anything. The article is criticizing this, not supporting it. This is terrible, but Ashley is just reporting on it, don’t take out your anger on her.

      • A concerned individual

        I’m sorry it came across that way. When I said that, I was referring to the individuals who designed the new characters. I really appreciate that Ashley was willing to write about this and get the word out. I apologize if it came across that I was targeting her.

    • Spastastic

      This is absolutely terrifying. STOP DESECRATING MY CHILDHOOD.

    • Brianna

      Please assure me that any outrage at a re-imagined Disney depiction for some commercial gain or another is purely satirical. If Disney is a some untouchable gospel of childhood, bring on the blasphemy.