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Fashion to fawn over: How Stella bagged Bambi for the fall ad campaign

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For her Fall/Winter 2009-10 advertising campaign, British designer Stella McCartney turned to a spindly legged, doe-eyed ingenue by the name of Bambi. The namesake of Walt Disney’s 1942 classic appears along with a posse of animated pals (including Flower, Thumper and Friend Owl), model Sigrid Agren and an honest-to-goodness live fox. According to a McCartney representative, the campaign was shot in April by Ryan McGinley in the English countryside and will appear both online and in the international print editions of Vogue magazine.

Over the last few years, I’ve watched Disney make a concerted effort to go after the fashion demographic -- partnering with labels like Dolce & Gabbana, Vivienne Tam and Jean-Charles de Castelbejac to ramp up offerings beyond the run-of-the-mill character T-shirts. But this is the first time I can recall the sacred intellectual property of the Magic Kingdom shilling for someone else’s clothing line (Bambi was muse for the advertising campaign only, not the collection itself).

Knowing such decisions aren’t made lightly, I was curious how it all came about. Perhaps in exchange, McCartney would lobby her famous father, Paul (who was in a ‘70s-era outfit called Wings and I think some other rinky-dink British band before that) to contribute to a Disney soundtrack? Or maybe a well-dressed employee or two over at Disney have closets overflowing with stylish Stella swag?

There was a family connection, but not the kind I thought.

It turns out that Kidada Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones, who launched a line of high-end accessories dubbed Kidada for Disney Couture for the company in 2007, is also a family friend of Stella McCartney’s. '[She] put us in touch with the right people there who have been extremely helpful to access their archives for the Bambi characters,’ said London-based public relations rep Stephane Jaspar in an e-mail.

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Mystery solved. Maybe now we can turn to some of the more pressing problems at hand -- like finding some designer trousers for the perenially pantsless Donald Duck. Perhaps fellow British designer Paul Smith could tackle that one.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Related post:

Stella McCartney’s Greatest Hits Show


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