Beauty and the Beast: The retail story (aka how brands are banking on Belle)

Translating a hit movie into hit sales is common move for the fashion and beauty industry. In fact at WGSN Insider we’ve spoken before about the success of licensing deals around hit movies and cartoons, as consumers want to experience a tangible piece of the magic.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the latest movie to influence the fashion world, with its classic tale that appeals to young consumers (thanks to the casting of Emma Watson) and nostalgic Millennials. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which just debuted, broke records in North America and globally in its opening weekend. it was among the top openings ever, as well as being the biggest opening for a PG movie. It raked in $170m in North America and $180m abroad, adding up to a cool (or hot) $350m global take.

Disney said that the combination of nostalgia for the original cartoon, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson’s star appeal, the Disney brand itself and powerful visual effects all played their part in the success.

So it’s no wonder the film has inspired these fashion and beauty collections, that tap into the endless appeal of the show.

Christopher Kane has created a Beauty and the Beast capsule collection in honour of the movie’s release. The collection features delicate pieces such as a tulle skirt and a jacquard coat, as well as more casual pieces like sweatshirts and pants with the Beast’s face on them. Kane took the iconic rose motif from the film and incorporated it into accessories, tops, a leather jacket and a stunning black lace dress. Kane’s elegant take on the movie lets you dress like the princess you always wanted to be.

Christopher Kane- the Beauty and the Beast Collection

Christopher Kane- the Beauty and the Beast Collection


Sock company Stance was also inspired by the iconic Disney film and has released five pairs of movie-inspired socks. The crew socks have designs ranging from rose gold detailing to a blue and red paisley. Stance’s fun and playful socks are meant to give you a happily ever after when you put them on.

Uniqlo, the hugely popular high street retailer has also collaborated with Disney on a line of basic tees. The exclusive collection “features patterns inspired by Belle’s village dress from Disney’s live-action film ‘Beauty and the Beast’, capturing Belle’s French style,” said the brand’s website.

Central Saint Martins fashion school envisioned a more avant grade take on the trend. Students teamed up with Walt Disney Studios to collaborate on a set of costumes inspired by the characters, themes, and motifs in the new Beauty and the Beast movie. The film’s award-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran acted as a mentor to the Performance Design and Practices students participating in the project. Swarovski even stepped in to sponsor the project, donating over 20,000 crystals for the students to incorporate into their designs. A total of six looks were created, each with its own take on what the movie meant to the students that made them.


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