One of the many things we love about our guests is their emotional connection to our stories. When they see themselves and their cultures depicted in our stories, a bond is formed that brings the magic of Disney to life.
In that spirit, we’re delighted to share that starting today on shopDisney and at select shopping destinations throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, you can experience an all-new picturesque work of art that brings together diverse cultures and Disney magic with the CreativeSoul Disney Princess inspired dolls collaboration! These breathtaking dolls pull inspiration from our beloved Disney Princess characters and the young girls featured in the concept art – but don’t just take my word for it, have a look at these eye-catching dolls yourself:
The dolls have natural hairstyles, highlighted by intricate dresses featuring beaded details and embellished African fabrics, accessories, and accents while paying tribute to Princess characters Tiana, Snow White, Rapunzel and Cinderella.
These exclusive dolls were designed with husband and wife duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt, founders of CreativeSoul Photography; a Black-owned photography studio in Atlanta, Georgia which re-imagines what classic heroines could look like through a diverse lens. For over a decade, Regis and Kahran have carried on their mission of celebrating youth of color in artistic new ways while adding Afrocentric design elements to their visuals to showcase the beauty and strength of diversity. We had the pleasure of interviewing Regis and Kahran on their thoughts on the series:
Q: What was the inspiration behind this collection? Tell us about the creative process.
For this collection, we decided to re-imagine the traditional Disney Princess characters with Afrocentric elements and hairstyles, giving a fresh diverse take. The creative process involved creating mood boards for all the creative elements of the shoot, taking reference photos of the models, and as mentioned, incorporating Afrocentric elements such as unique, cultural influences in the designs.
Q: What was the best part about collaborating on this collection with Disney?
Being able to assist with all the details for the dolls. We were able to give input throughout the entire process – from hair textures to fabrics, and even accessories to make sure our vision was executed throughout the project.
Q: Who is your favorite Disney Princess character and why?
Cinderella’s story resonates with us as it is relatable to many of the struggles and adversities that people may encounter in their lives. Despite the difficulties she faced, she maintained her kindness and inner strength which is what we aim to do in our daily lives.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?
We love working with and empowering young people, helping them see themselves in a positive light. We also enjoy how we’re able to tell unique stories through our creative process.
From February 3 through 5, guests can meet Regis and Kahran during a signing at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts (included in theme park admission) where the CreativeSoul Doll Collection will be for sale at the Art of Disney and the America Pavilion (while supplies last), along with a series of five images of the models which inspired the dolls and two books, all available for a limited time. During this time, guests can also view an exhibit in the America Pavilion which will showcase life-sized dresses and natural-styled wigs of the doll models.
Retailing at $59.99 and 11 inches in scale, these dolls are special-edition so be sure to head on over to shopDisney, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Resort and get your own doll soon – or collect them all! We can’t wait for you to experience the excitement and wonder of seeing these beautiful works of art in person.