Behind the seams: How we designed our Mickey Mouse 90th anniversary collection
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Mickey Mouse 90th anniversary — An exclusive collection

Behind the seams: How we designed our Mickey Mouse 90th anniversary collection

Words— Frank And Oak staff

Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse 90 years ago to the delight of millions around the world. While much has changed since his debut, Mickey’s boundless optimism continues to stand for good. We're so excited to collaborate with Disney in celebration of this huge occasion. We grabbed our Creative Director, Edmund Lam, for a quick chat to walk us through the collaboration and the designs. 




So how did this collaboration come about? 

We were approached by Disney to create a collection to commemorate Mickey’s 90th birthday. Mickey is a such an iconic symbol to so many people, we were flattered to be included in such an important moment in his history!


So we’re suddenly working with an absolute icon in Mickey Mouse. There’s a lot of material out there to work from, a lot of references. How did you start? How did you sift through all of that and find what you wanted to say?

What we love so much about Mickey is that he has essentially remained unchanged over the last 90 years, yet has continued to be as relevant and interesting as ever. Needless to say, with the task of taking part in his legacy, the pressure was on.


In our research, myself and the entire team here instinctively gravitated towards the classic original illustration style of Mickey. We all loved the old films, and it felt the best way to celebrate his enduring spirit.


What’s the biggest difference in working on your own designs and using something as recognizable as Mickey Mouse?


Well when you’re working on your own designs, there aren’t many confines and most importantly, no set expectation of what the design is meant to be and look like. With Mickey, there was a tradition to honour, while needing to bring something new to the table and give it this new interpretation a reason to exist. That was tough, but we’re really happy with where we landed.




The Mickey we’ve chosen here — he’s not the cheery Mickey we’re used to seeing. What’s the story behind that?


Mickey is a symbol of joy to so many, a glee recalling simpler times. In light of the challenges the world facing today, it was important for us to show the resilient and determined side of Mickey as a reflection what optimism means to us today. In our interpretation featured in our collection, Mickey stands proud and defiant.


Who do you hope the collection appeals to?

We designed this collection for everyone who likes to have fun with their style. We went with bold colours, playfully oversized graphic scales and conceived the pieces to actually be wearable together. The collection ranges from varsity-inspired pieces to others that are more street, so there’s a bit of something for everyone. Essentially just fun pieces that can be worn in different ways by different people.



What was the idea behind the photo shoot?

For us, a bunch of 30 somethings (give or take), the image of a classic Mickey Mouse really brought us back to the golden age of going to the movies, the pre-internet and Netflix days. There was something magical about having to wait to see something on the big screen, no YouTube trailers, no binge-watching. Just excitement, anticipation, and movie-theatre popcorn with your friends. We shot the lookbook at Cinema du Parc, a long-standing and beloved independent theatre in Montreal. They were kind enough to let us do it.


Thanks, Edmund!


Our new Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Collection is available now for men and women — in store and online.



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Designed in Canada. Made for good living. We’re dedicated to providing you with purposefully designed products, made ethically and sustainably.