On November 18 1928, Walter Elias Disney introduced Mickey Mouse (full name: Michael Theodore Mouse) to the world with the release of “Steamboat Willie,” the first Disney film ever produced with synchronized sound. (The concept of Mickey, however, was birthed several months prior in a test screening for “Plane Crazy.”) Inspired by a pet mouse Disney owned as a child, Mickey – who was almost named Mortimer (lol) – became the lionized mascot of the Disney empire. He was also the first cartoon character to ever speak and earn a star on the walk of fame. The guy’s an exalted success story. A miniature pioneer.1
Throughout his 90-year career, Mickey has – according to some dubious Internet sources– worn over 175 outfits2, proving a revered player in fashion as well. It makes sense then that to celebrate Mickey’s 90th birthday (not a wrinkle in sight!), a number of fashion brands have excitedly collaborated with the iconic brand to celebrate Mickey in their own unique style. It’s like Project Runway: Mickey Mouse Edition. As self-elected judges, we’ve listed and rated each collab to determine which are worth your coin and which should remain hidden in the Disney vault.
While Mickey celebrates his 90th, Lacoste celebrates its 85th. This dual celebration culminates in a rather simple collection featuring classic illustrations of Mickey in traditional tennis garb (hey, at least he’s wearing pants). Of the collaborations, Lacoste’s is certainly one of the strongest and stays true to its staples, featuring polos, t-shirts, pullovers, sneakers and other leather goods ranging from $85 to $195. It’s a classic collection that says, “Yes, I’m a adult. But I’m a fun adult who once enjoyed cartoons.” Most covetable items: the Crew Neck Interlock Sweater and Petit Piqué Polo.
In keeping with their pattern heavy, California cool vibe, Vans’ Mickey collaboration is varied, massive, affordable (items range from $15 to $75) and remains true to its skater aesthetic, opting for fun retro imagery. Perfect for a slouchy yet creative individual who brags when Chipotle doesn’t charge him for guac. Our faves: Mickey Mouse’s 90th Jockey Hat and Old Skool Sneakers.
Frank & Oak
Frank & Oak’s collection is by far the most varied in terms of style, spanning from varsity-inspired garments to street. There’s a bit of something for everyone – crewnecks, rugby polos, t-shirts, pullovers, etc. – each of which share bold colours and playfully oversized graphics of Disney’s Beyonce. The collaboration is ideal for the hipster who would never identify as such (so, all of them). Prices range from $45 to $149. We’re particularly fond of the Cotton-Blend Crewneck and Rugby Polo.
No brand represents rugged Americana better than Levi’s. Mickey, on the other hand, couldn’t be more wholesome. Yet this juxtaposition blends seamlessly in Levi’s limited edition Mickey Mouse collection. The imagery (featuring Mickey’s ageless mug) is front and centre in this collection of t-shirts, hoodies, hats, socks, jackets and button-ups ranging $20 to $148. The collection is already proving quite popular and a few items have already sold out. The Barstow Western Shirt and Sherpa Trucker Jacket are two we’d snatch up first.
Nixon’s ode to Mickey can be found all over these exclusive timepieces. While the faces are all wonderful (there are five looks), they may be perceived as childish. What I mean is, if a lawyer was wearing this watch, I’d be reluctant to hire him. But, the devil is in the details and this is where the brand thrives. Nixon’s collection features custom Mickey silhouettes on the band and the number “90” embossed on the hardware. Each unique details you wouldn’t find on their other watches. Our favourite would be Hand Over Fist.
This collection celebrates the beloved Disney icon with the work of legendary Pop Artist Andy Warhol, inspired by Warhol’s famous portraits of Mickey Mouse created in 1981. The exclusive collection is admittedly scarce in both design and garments, which is why the rating registers considerably lower than others. The Mickey Art Sweatshirt is our recommendation in this collection.
The athletic fashion brand is a collaboration many might not have expected, but the result isn’t half bad. The primary graphic – a kind of silhouette of a more modern Mickey – is admittedly one of the more interesting and unique of all of the Mickey collaborations, but the collection is void of colour (black, grey and white tones are employed throughout the range) and the items are limited to hoodies, t-shirts and track jackets, making for a stilted collection compared to the others. All items range from $110 to $165. Our favorites: The Authentic Audley Disney Black Sweatshirt and 222 Banda Anniston Disney Black Grey Graphic Track Jacket.
The spirited collaboration from The U.K. online fashion retailer surprised me – in a good way. Not only is the collection affordable, but the designs are trendy and appear quite expensive. Personally, I gravitate toward the Mickey Signature designs, which break the monotonous caricature mold showcased by other brands. For that reason, we recommend the Loose Fit Mickey Signature Joggers and Disney Signature Sleeve Print Hoodie.
Rag & Bone
One of the pricier collabs comes from Rag & Bone, featuring a strong selection of the brand’s best-selling styles remixed with playful references of the world-famous rodent. And, guess what, this one has pants! (A rarity among the collaborations.) Made using original sketches from the Disney archive, the capsule highlights Mickey’s evolution over the past nine decades, bringing with it a cool New York sensibility. Definitely one of the more fashion forward collabs of the bunch. Our favorites are the Mickey Collage Tee and the Mickey Coat.
Swatch’s Disney collaboration is designed by famed British artist, Damien Hirst, who is best known for his unique spot paintings – in fact, he’s famously produced art of the mogul mouse in the past. The two exclusive timepieces are very reminiscent of that, and register as works of wearable art along with the artist’s signature on the wristband. But now the bad news. The watches were only available for 24 hours on Mickey’s birthday – the 18th. But–but!–I’m sure you can find people selling them online. (I hope. I’m sorry.)
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|1.||↑||And he is perhaps the only celebrity that can pull off wearing white formal gloves 24/7|
|2.||↑||And only a handful have been culturally problematic!|