Walker takes the Mickey for 90th

Weekend Herald - - News - Kirsty Wynn

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.

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