Heads up, all you “Beauty and the Beast” fans.
You’re going to need a queen’s budget to afford some of the movie merchandise targeted toward adults that Disney has released for the movie, which opens today.
A Juicy Couture jacket for $700? A $500 watch? A $300 soup pot?
A $5,000 Judith Leiber purse?
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Those aren’t Belle-themed dress-up dresses, dolls or water bottles, though those exist, too.
But with laptop skins, iPhone cases and limited-edition clothing, Disney is targeting millennials who grew up watching Disney films hoping that nostalgia will boost sagging merchandise revenues which fell 23 percent last quarter, according to Bloomberg Business Week.
“There’s a lot riding on Beauty and the Beast’s success,” notes the Motley Fool. “It opens up merchandising opportunities for Disney’s recently languishing consumer-products division, which has posted year-over-year declines in revenue and segment operating profit for four straight quarters.”
James Pitaro, Disney’s consumer-products chief, tells Bloomberg he’s trying to broaden the audience for the company’s movie-themed merchandise.
For “Beauty and the Beast,” that means targeting millennials who grew up watching Disney films. “This is probably priority No. 1 for us,” Pitaro told Bloomberg. “This idea we call the generational pull.”
His first step: Create what he called a “halo” around the “Beauty and the Beast” brand.
Some of the prices of the new merchandise are certainly as high as halos.
Take, for instance, the limited-edition track jackets by Juicy Couture that have earned a lot of ink in fashion columns.
The special collection consists of two Black Label velour jackets embellished with “Beauty and the Beast” symbols made with thousands of Swarovski crystals, according to WWD.
The embellished “Robertson” jacket, which comes in navy, has a stained glass rose motif on the back. It costs $698 on juicycouture.com.
Earlier this week London-based designer Christopher Kane unveiled a limited-edition capsule collection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces inspired by the movie.
It is not, points out Refinery29 women’s lifestyle website, “a selection of cutesy, cheap-and-cheerful merchandise.”
The line includes $245 Beast T-shirts and a women’s silk jacket with a blue bow that costs $6,000.
“I have loved Disney since my childhood and all of the classics,” Kane told Refinery29. “I was a huge cartoon snob ... I would only watch Disney. They just always resonated with me. The script, the films, the colors ... and I think nostalgia is always a good thing. Looking back, I mean, we grew up in the ‘90s, how fun was that?”
The $775 sweatshirt in Kane’s collection caught the eye of the fashionistas at Teen Vogue, who gushed that “the world is abuzz with Beauty and the Beast fever. And it’s reached the apex in fashion, much to our joy.
“While there are definitely some misses (no, we don’t need to re-live that screen-printed T-shirt moment we had when the movie came out the first time around…), there are also some MAJOR hits. So many designers have jumped on the bandwagon of inspired capsule collections that it’s a sure bet we’re going to be channeling Belle many times this season.”
Bloomberg reports that in a first for Disney Princess merchandise, the company has aggressively targeted guys with ties, men’s blazers inspired by the film at teen retailer Hot Topic and Beast-themed baseball caps from New Era.
In another first, Williams-Sonoma has partnered with Disney to offer “Beauty and the Beast” fans something for the kitchen — a blue Le Creuset Soup Pot, for $280.
“It appeals to those who grew up watching the original film,” Janet Hayes, brand president at Williams-Sonoma Inc., told Bloomberg. “I think the finishing touch on the handle of the lid saying ‘be our guest’ is a great touch.”
Alas, unlike the tea pot in the movie, the soup pot doesn’t dance.