'Minnie Muse' Is a Mickey Mouse Job for Forever 21

You know, Forever 21, I know you’re trying hard to win over more fan bases with your recent collections—not that you really need to, you fucking $135 million company, you!—but this latest collaboration has only yielded unnerving results.

It’s called “Minnie Muse,” and it features the iconic rodent in the red-and-white polka-dot skirt we all know—except now the collection presents her in a whole new way. As the press release puts it: “leggy, modern and glamorous.”

Minnie Mouse? Leggy?

In the collection, Minnie has sprouted about four feet, and, well, pretty much stayed the same weight.

On T-shirts, sweaters and skirts, Minnie is shown wearing her trademark bow (now oversized, floppy and tilted), fitted trench coats, platform high heels and ankle boots. She’s styling dress forms and strutting down the runway.

It’s just weird.

Even as an unapologetically huge supporter of both Disney and Forever 21—I’m cheap and sentimental!—it’s still tough to be fair while dissecting this collaboration. It’s difficult to see who could actually be interested in the “Minnie Muse” collection to the point of actual purchase, other than young girls who couldn’t fit the store’s adult sizing anyway. It’s bad enough out there with the media’s portrayal of the female ideal— now even cartoon mice aren’t off-limits?

Maybe, Forever 21, you thought you could tap into the same marketing vein that Vogue pulled off a few years back with its “Simpsons Go to Paris” illustrated spread—seven pages of all your fave Simpsons females rubbing elbows with the Paris fashion elite, from Jean Paul Gaultier to Alber Elbaz.

The only difference?

Vogue and The Simpsons’ people managed to do it tastefully. With humor and sophistication, even. Homer Simpson dressed identically to Karl Lagerfeld head-to-toe? Pretty fantastic.

Stretched out, stick-thin, Olive Oyl-style Minnie Mouse? Not so much.

The actual clothing in the “Minnie Muse” collection is pretty snoozy, with graphic T-shirts and sweat shirts dominating. The sequined statement pieces are slightly more interesting, with a black-on black mini-skirt ($17.80) leading the pack—but that’s probably because the Minnie Mouse logo splashed on the side isn’t all that noticeable. I guess.

The gray cardigan with the black trim and Minnie Mouse head with the pink bow on the chest ($24) is really fun to look at, but then, there’s that whole thing again about grown-ass women wearing tiny Minnie heads all over their clothing.

While I’m pretty sure I’m pissing off that extra-special part of the population that still enjoys wearing Disney tees daily, let’s just focus on one thing here: What the hell did you let them do to your legs, Minnie?


This column appeared in print as “Forever 21’s Mickey Mouse Job.”

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