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The Chinese New Year, which is the year of the rat in 2020, kicked off Saturday, Jan. 25. (Some famous names born in the year of the rat include Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Prince Harry). To celebrate the occasion, many fashion and beauty brands are offering up merchandise honoring the rodent. The first animal in the Chinese zodiac symbolizes fertility and wealth. Since mice are included in the mix, companies took the opportunity to pay tribute to some of Hollywood’s favorite mice, from Mickey Mouse to Jerry from Tom and Jerry and the underground comic character, Mickey Rat.
As part of a continuing collaboration with Disney, Gucci has introduced a Disney x Gucci Year of the Mouse collection, starring Mickey Mouse in a campaign shot by photographer-director Harmony Korine at Disneyland. The line includes sneakers, scarves, hats, ties, handbags, luggage, jewelry and a wide range of fashion pieces, including outerwear, sweatshirts, a swimsuit and even silk tops and relaxed trousers (featuring logo GG and Mickey Mouse motifs, a new coated canvas fabric, embroidered Mickey Mouse patches, and a nature scene print that unexpectedly incorporates the famous mouse).
Creative director Alessandro Michele has frequently incorporated Disney references in his designs, from Donald Duck patterns in the spring 2017 menswear line to $4,500 Mickey Mouse head top-handle handbags in spring 2019 (still available), and the Three Little Pigs characters (brothers Practical Pig, Fiddler Pig and Fifer Pig) on a 35-piece Year of the Pig collection in honor of the 2019 Lunar New year.
For its first collaboration with Disney, Japanese beauty brand SK-II (Cate Blanchett was global ambassador for over 15 years) has released a limited-edition Disney Mickey Mouse version of its Facial Treatment Essence ($247), available at Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Sephora as an ode to the Year of the Rat. Becca Cosmetics (which has had ongoing collaborations with Chrissy Teigen) has issued a new limited-edition Year of the Rat Shimmering Skin Perfector compact, a pale gold-toned pressed powder highlighter imprinted with a rat image ($39).
Luxury watch brand Jaquet Droz sends up the Lunar New Year with an introduction of four new limited-edition versions of its Petite Heure Minute timepiece that incorporate rat motifs. Issued in a limited edition of 8 pieces, an 18-karat red gold or white gold 41mm style, with an onyx dial and a black alligator strap, features a rat with pomegranates (57 rubies), a fruit symbolizing power and life; the ring and pallet lugs of the white gold version are additionally set with 272 diamonds. A red gold style in 35mm and 39mm with a Grand Feu enamel dial (the case and pallet lugs of the 35mm version are set with diamonds) depicts two rats with leaves and pomegranates; a second scene with two rats is engraved on the back. These watches are issued in a series of 28 pieces.
Columbia Sportwear also got into the game by teaming up with Disney on an 18-piece Mickey Mouse-themed collection that incorporates some never-before-seen art ($35-$150) for the Chinese New Year. The styles for adults and children include a waterproof jacket with “stowable” mouse ears that can tuck away and a Mickey Mouse pattern on the lining, as well as shorts, tops, anoraks and more.
Italian fashion brand Etro turned to another famous mouse (Jerry from Tom and Jerry, the animated MGM series created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera) and teamed up with Warner Bros. for its limited-edition Etro Lunar New Year capsule line. The Etro x Tom and Jerry includes array of T-shirts, sweatshirts, handbags, scarves, ties and accessories.
Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott looked to comic book character Mickey Rat (created in 1971 by L.A.-based cartoonist and artist Robert Armstrong) to conjure up a Moschino Chinese New Year Mickey Rat limited-edition capsule line for women and men ($90-$1,585). In the mix are t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogger pants, bomber jackets, dresses and a skirt, socks, high-top sneakers, backpacks and cellphone cases.
Even Virgil Abloh’s hipster streetwear brand Off-White created a dedicated Off-White Lunar New Year capsule line of apparel and accessories for men and women that mix the brand’s signature graphics with illustrations of rats and the phrase “good luck.” Included are sweatshirts, t-shirts, jeans, socks, scarves, wallets, leather bags and bucket hats at off—white.com.
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