I’ve talked a lot about the Disney merchandise permeating our lives, about the “must have” mania it can sometimes inspire, or just the fun experience of being a collector it can involve. I’ve mentioned some of the bizarre merchandise Disney offers, but I haven’t really gone into just how much Disney there is that we don’t recognize.
Obviously a company as large as Disney owns several properties that don’t brandish their Mouse Ears: television channels ABC and ESPN, the newly-acquired Marvel, even the publishing company Hyperion. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
Today I’m interested in the brands bearing the Disney name that don’t offer products one would expect from Disney. For example, the Walt Disney Signature adult lifestyle brand. It primarily provides home furnishings meant to cater to sophisticated grown-up palates.
Viewing any of the items offered by the Signature line, one wouldn’t guess that this is a Disney brand. No Disney characters are on display, not even in a muted, calmer fashion than the bright colors and movement of the bed sheets or tabletop lamps designed by Disney for children’s rooms.
No, at most some of the pieces offered by the Signature brand are inspired by Disney films, “inspired” meaning a carpet with a leaf pattern supposedly inspired by “Bambi,” or wallpaper with swirling designs reminiscent of musical notes meant to recall “Fantasia.”
In most cases, the furnishings, decor, jewelry, and clothes of Walt Disney Signature just look like those one might purchase from any retailer. Some of the jewelry lines for Signature have a few pieces for “Alice in Wonderland” that one might actually surmise were made with the story in mind, but for the most part the brand’s offerings are Disney in name alone.
Walt Disney Signature is probably the largest example, but there are a few other Disney lines that don’t look like Disney products. Most of them offer clothing, including one bridal catalog that features dresses inspired by the movies. But wearing an Ariel dress doesn’t mean you’ll have those gigantic puffy sleeves she sported at the end of the film, it just means the designer drew ideas from an aquatic “Little Mermaid” theme.
My question with all of this is if you’re a Disney fan, would you buy something from the Walt Disney Signature Line just because it’s Disney? The furnishings offered by the line are definitely beautiful and classy, but they don’t stand out to me any more so than other modern furniture brands. How much of Walt Disney Signature’s business comes from Disney brand loyalty?
People might stick by their favorite fashion designers when buying fancy attire, but the name “Disney” doesn’t exactly pop into someone’s head when they’re shopping for evening gowns. So I’m just curious as to the nature of whatever success the Walt Disney Signature Line has had.
I know I generally only buy Disney merchandise when I want something specifically Disney. If I’m looking for a new carpet I’m not going feel more amenable to buying something from the Signature line just because it’s from a brand under the House of Mouse’s roof.
But what about you? Would you be more interested in a line of normal home furnishings, or clothing, or jewelry, because it’s made by the Disney Company?