Walker takes the Mickey for 90th
Karen Walker’s instantly recognisable Runaway Girl has lent her signature design to one of the most beloved and iconic characters of all time.
The ponytailed girl from one of the designer’s oldest collections has gifted her stylised stick and bag — the “bindle” carried over the shoulder — to Mickey Mouse for his 90th birthday.
The New Zealand designer is one of a select few to create a collection for the Disney character’s 90th anniversary celebrations. Other brands involved include Gucci, Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs.
“As soon as we started talking about a collaboration with Disney, I thought, “what if we let Mickey and Minnie use our bindle?” Walker told the Weekend Herald.
“I could picture them both in profile, marching forward into the world with the stick and bindle over their shoulders.”
It is the first time Runaway Girl has been modified or that her bindle has ever been lent to another character — but Walker said the time was right.
“Mickey’s a global icon and it’s a great honour for me to have an opportunity to interpret his personality, which I’ve loved since meeting him at Disneyland as a 7-year-old,” she said.
Walker said she has been a fan ever since so when she was invited to be a fashion partner for the 90th celebrations it was “an instant yes”.
“We got to work with two characters who’ve always delighted me but we also got to create the kind of eye-popping . . . designs that only come with Disney’s uber-fun vibe,” she said.
Runaway Girl first appeared during London Fashion Week 17 years ago and is regarded as one of Karen Walker’s most recognised pieces.
“Mickey and Minnie represent adventure and whimsy and that’s very much what our Runaway Girl stands for too,” Walker said.
As part of the celebrations Walker returned to the adventure park she loved as a child with her own daughter Valentina, 10.
She said her first visit was unforgettable but the most recent “completely rock-star” with a VIP guide.
The Karen Walker Mickey Mouse range includes T-shirts and sweatshirts, sunglasses, fine jewellery, accessories and a commemorative plate and mug. Prices range from $40 for a mug to $2269 for a gold necklace.
Karen Walker says her VIP-guided Disneyland visit as part of the anniversary was “completely rock-star”.
Karen Walker’s Mickey Mouse collection features the signature Runaway Girl stick and bag motif.