LOS ANGELES — Vintage cartoon characters on premium T-shirts are as common as low-rise jeans on Hollywood starlets. The trend seems here to stay, but what's next?
Walt Disney Co., in search of a fresh way to capitalize on its iconic menagerie and push its merchandise into retail's upper echelons, went in search of inspiration. Enter Kidada Jones, 31, style-maker, design consultant, and woman-about-town (dad is Quincy Jones and mom is Peggy Lipton).
"When people think of Disney merchandise, they think young, cheesy and mass, but there are other elements of Disney that aren't that at all," said Jones, who joined the company last year as a creative consultant with the mission of turning Tinkerbell into a modern-day girl-power icon.
Jones' latest muse is another famous blonde, Alice in Wonderland. And on Sunday, Jones was the host at a "Mad Tea Party" at her father's Bel-Air home, which was transformed into a magic garden, to launch the collection. Naomi Campbell and Teri Hatcher were among the guests.
In addition to pairing Disney with hip licensees, Jones is designing her first jewelry and home accessories collections around Alice. The Kidada for Disney collections are the Magic Kingdom's first foray into the fine jewelry and high-end home accessories category.
The Alice collection, which includes Kidada for Disney, features furniture, tabletop items, bags, makeup and apparel. Kidada for Disney is expected to net $1 million in the first year. Total sales for all of the Alice in Wonderland licenses are estimated at $10 million to $15 million, figures projected to double the following year.
"The first year we plant the seed, then we watch it grow, then we harvest," said Dennis Green, Disney's senior vice president, global creative consumer products.
Clearly, Alice was already flying high on the pop-culture radar; John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld cited her as inspiration, and Gwen Stefani played Alice in her first solo video.
"It was already out there, and Alice is one of the largest unused archives of artwork at Disney," Green said. "It was a simple decision."
So, too, was hiring Jones, who has had a Tinkerbell tattoo on one of her calves for nine years. She went to work one week after meeting Green.
Steve Aoki held a presentation, a runway show and outdoor concert for his men's line Dim Mak. Here's a look from his spring 2018 collection, which was titled "Paradise Found." #wwdfashion #wwdmens (📷: George Chinsee)
"It's really hard sometimes. I think I have a reputation for being really tough and aggressive and pushy but I really am a very shy person who wants to be liked, and that's the conflict constantly. There's something that takes hold - I want people to like me, I don't want to be mean - but if I see something that just cries out to be answered, I go for it," says renowned NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell. (📷: @axeldupeux)