Each holiday season, I’m faced with a dilemma – what kind of lights should I use to decorate my tree? Each year has been a little different. I used all white lights last year, but I’m leaning toward multi-color lights this year. From what I’ve seen around the Disney Theme Park Merchandise HQ, bright colors are in. They are part of an art program we call “Holiday Brights.” I recently spoke with Marlou Sy Hollens, Product Developer for Women’s Apparel, about this festive art style.
“There are really two different art styles for the ‘Holiday Brights’ program,” explained Marlou. “There is the ‘Mickey Bulb’ art which features a Mickey Mouse silhouette made of lights, and the brightly colored ‘buffalo plaid’ style.”
Buffalo plaid? It’s a new term that I learned while photographing these items (hey, I typically wear Aloha shirts here in Florida). Marlou explained that buffalo plaid was a market trend the Softlines Apparel teams noticed last year.
“When we create apparel for a particular season, we look at industry trends to stay fashion forward,” said Marlou. “Last year about this time, we noticed that buffalo plaid was everywhere in the marketplace. The goal for us then was to take that trend, add a splash of Disney and create [merchandise] that our guests will love to use or wear.”
The buffalo plaid pattern is something brand new and untested this year, yet Marlou said the merchandise team believed in the program. They are currently finding some great successes (thank you to those who are reading the Disney Parks Blog while wearing those comfortable slippers pictured above).
“We sometimes test things in our merchandise locations to see guests’ responses,” continued Marlou. “With softlines items like apparel, we can introduce things quicker than some hardlines categories like pins or Vinylmation. I thought the bright buffalo plaid would make the perfect colorful complement to the Mickey Bulb art.”
The “Mickey Bulb” art (which has the best tagline this season – “May Your Holidays Be Bright”) was first tried last year as a basic tee-shirt. The artwork was such a hit that the program was expanded to include women’s apparel, accessories and other items.
I asked Marlou if she had a particular favorite style – bulb or plaid.
“I think there are really two different flavors of design,” said Marlou. “The Mickey Bulb art is very holiday focused, while the buffalo bright style can be worn post holiday season. I think both are fun, whimsical and so Disney.”
I’m now thinking I need a different approach to holiday decorating this year. Perhaps I should just wear something from the bulb art and buffalo plaid programs and stand in the corner of my home. It would be much easier than trying to wrap lights around my tree. So will you be sporting the bulb art or the plaid this holiday season? If only there was an Aloha shirt.