This holiday season Loungefly adds more fairytale glimmer to its collection with a new, sequin-bedecked Disney Princess release. The fandom fashion house and its VP of Creative, Liz DeSilva, revealed to io9 the latest drop in the Disney royalty-inspired line featuring Mulan and chatted with us about the brand’s global impact.
Sabina Graves, io9: I know there’s been at least a few releases in this specific series. Can you tell me a bit about what inspired them? I love that it looks like they’re taking inspiration from the costumes.
Liz DeSilva: Our sequin mini backpacks in general have been a fan favorite, and so we’re always looking at: how do we take something that everyone loves and take it to the next level? Sequin princess cosplay just seemed like a really great series to put in front of our fans, so we started looking at what we could do with all of their outfits. And it’s actually quite the challenge because sequins look best when they’re not printed, when you’re getting actual sequins—so we don’t want to print color on them. We have to work within the materials in the market. So it’s definitely a challenge to really source all of the right sequins for each princess. But I think each one has come out absolutely beautifully.
io9: It’s awesome because like you said, they do lend themselves to that realm of fans who love to dress up, who love to incorporate these looks, even if they’re not dressed as the character. How far ahead are you in planning your releases for each of them?
DeSilva: We actually work a full year out, sometimes more. We have a calendar that we build on, always wanting to see at least two rounds of sampling, and that allows us to really perfect every piece. So in order to get through approvals with our amazing license partners—there’s so many steps. Right now we’re wrapping up all of what we call our gift-giving assortments, and shortly beginning on all of our overarching planning for 2024.
io9: I’m so excited for some of the collections. I definitely lived vicariously on social media through your Disneyland Paris trip and loved all the matching outfits. What’s it like seeing the global impact among the fans who are collecting the bags and showing them off at places like theme parks, and the different places in the wild?
DeSilva: It was an amazing experience because myself and Derek [Baca], my partner, we’re about to have our four-year anniversary with the brand. Seeing how many more people it’s touching now from the beginning is amazing. This was our first trip outside of the states for Loungefly. And not only did we get to see bags out in the wild in London and Paris, but we got to have our first-ever fan event and meet some of our retailers in person that we do exclusives for in Europe—as well as go to Disneyland Paris and see our bags there, which is jus an incredible feeling. I love to see how people style the bags and how they’re expressing themselves. So to see that all the way across the world—well, in Europe was amazing, and in a park that’s not the same parks that we always get to see. We got to see our Paris exclusives there. I hope that we get to continue to expand and offer our bags in even more places.
io9: That is so cool. What’s the vibe with how the bags are styled over there, and what was the feedback you got from fans?
DeSilva: Do you know what I noticed? There’s like a big difference in that here [in the U.S.], we definitely fully embrace our fandoms, and it’s different there. When we went to the park there, there’s people wearing ears and the backpacks. But I feel like when I go to the parks here in the states, I see a lot of people wearing the shirt and the ears and the bag and all the things. There’s a lot of expression. [In Europe], it’s definitely more toned down; it’s a little more subtle [from] what I saw in [Disneyland] Paris. Walking around, I was wearing ears, a shirt, a mini backpack, and a cross body—all Brave Little Tailor. I definitely felt people like looking at me like, “Well, this girl’s got a lot going on.”
So we work very closely with the Paris teams on their exclusives and they definitely have insight and feedback for us that’s specific to their customer. There’s always really interesting things to me—here, we’re very all about cards and we pay with cards most of the time, right? And when we were designing some collections for Japan, we had to really rework the wallet silhouette. They are still more of a coin-carrying society, so they needed those pouches for coins. It’s really interesting when you work with different parts of the world, like what matters in terms of functionality of their bags.
Here are more looks at the Mulan sequin Loungefly collection:
The Mulan Disney Princess Sequins Series bag is available at Loungefly.com.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.