NEW YORK -- Wine inspired by characters from the Walt Disney Co. may not make it to your next wine-tasting gathering after the company decided last month not to produce Ratatouille, a white burgundy inspired by the 2007 animated film.
But Disney Consumer Products, Burbank, Calif., continues to expand its presence in the luxury market, the latest effort being triple-milled soap sets inspired by Alice in Wonderland
. The line, from Gianna Rose Atelier, Santa Ana, Calif., will be available for the holiday season (MSRP $37.50). Other sets will follow.
"We went into Disney's vaults and drew upon the inspiration of Walt Disney's iconography to transform the characters, images and themes into couture soaps," said Blair Buckley, vp-product development at Gianna Rose Atelier.
The line continues a strategy for the company that this year saw the unveiling of The Kirstie Kelly for Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings, a collection of wedding gowns inspired by the style of such Disney princesses as Cinderella and Jasmine that retail between $1,100-3,500. In 2005, DCP introduced a couture home décor and jewelry line inspired by Alice in Wonderland
, designed by Kidada Jones. In May DCP introduced the Kidada for Disney Couture collection of loungewear, costume jewelry and home accessories inspired by Disney's princesses.
"Brands need to find new ways to attract new audiences. Disney has a treasure trove of icons and assets that they can adapt to appeal to upscale consumers," said Eli Portnoy, chief brand strategist at The Portnoy Group, Orlando, Fla., which did not work on the campaign "As long as they do it in a subtle way and bring the best [icons, assets and quality products] to market, they will find an audience."
Other high-end Disney collections include furniture from Drexel Heritage, infant apparel and accessories, and adult cosmetics such as the Alice in Wonderland
by Goldie items for Bath & Body Works.
Disney has been careful not to be too heavy-handed with its upscale products. The new Gianna Rose Atelier soap sets, for example, won't even receive marketing support from Disney. "They are letting the designs sell themselves," said Portnoy.