Pirate Booty: Disney Gets Its Jack Sparrow On With Hayden-Harnett

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Fashion collaborations have produced some odd bedfellows before, but none that intrigue our inner child—while befuddling our outer grown-up—like the projects of Walt Disney Signature, Disney’s adult lifestyle consumer products brand extension.

Working with high-profile design talents in art, home and fashion design, the brand has produced a series of unlikely products, from Italian armchairs with a TRON: Legacy motif to $1,000 pavé diamond “dinosaur” bracelets inspired by Fantasia.

The latest Disney collaboration to set fashionistas abuzz is the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides collection from hip accessory label Hayden-Harnett. It seems an offbeat choice for the Brooklyn-based business, which is better known for It bags and retro rags than for swashbuckling style.[more]

Formed in 2005, Hayden-Harnett has grown from a small husband-and-wife design team to a cult favorite indie brand sold at Nordstrom and Anthropologie as well as Target’s Go collective, building a solid fan base for their colorful leather handbags, jewelry and scarves that are equal parts bohemian, rock ‘n’ roll and vintage inspired.

In fact, it’s that boho-rock sensibility that ultimately makes Hayden-Harnett a plausible match for Disney’s whimsical, mythical films. Timed to the May 20th release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the label’s Pirates collection of fringed cross-body bags, oversize silk scarves and hardware-detailed cuffs feels on trend and of a piece with both brands, though one does wonder whether the actual buyers of these pieces are fans of Disney, Hayden-Harnett, or just the shaded area of the Venn diagram representing both.

Clearly, the partnership has been a worthy venture for the parties thus far—Pirates is the label’s third collaboration with Disney, with previous projects including accessories for Fantasia and the recent Tron Legacy reboot

Beyond gaining customers, Walt Disney Signature’s fashion forays are an interesting take on the collaboration trend, which usually involves a high-end designer working with a mass retailer to gain customers in a new price bracket. Instead, Disney has carefully selected timely, appropriate designers—such as fantastical costume jeweler Tom Binns and animal-lover Stella McCartney for an Alice in Wonderland theme—and given them free reign, creating limited-edition (not mass) products at designer price points.

Whether it’s a profitable gambit remains to be seen, but perhaps that’s not quite the point. If the idea is to keep the magic of Disney relevant in creative circles, they’re hitting the nail on the head with their buzz-worthy partners.

Photography, by Tal Shpantzer, via Hayden-Harnett

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