The Deal with Dooney and Bourke

This might sound like it’s the beginning of a girly post (another one?) about accessories and things.

But just think of it as a supplement to The Disney Hipsters‘ Good Design + Bad Design segment on their podcast.

I’d like to think that you can still incorporate Disney in your life without sacrificing style and class. I wish that when I walked into a souvenir shop in Florida or even in The Disney Store I didn’t have to search for those kind of items. It’s true that the state of shopping has improved over the years (and maybe it’s better for my wallet), but I would buy so much more if they turned down the cartoon-y details.

Disney’s collaboration with Dooney and Bourke is a prime example. Funnily enough, my first designer purse was a Dooney and Bourke purchased by my boyfriend in college. This means I was under 21 years old and carrying a purse with heart doodles on it. Perfectly acceptable, and I’m actually sad they don’t carry a design like this anymore because I would still use it.

Dooney and Bourke Vegas
In Vegas with my first D&B bag.

Maybe it’s just me but when you are dropping a few hundred dollars on a purse, I would think buying an item you can use in multiple settings would be a priority. Unfortunately, many of the Disney-fied D&B designs do not fit into this category, and I tend to just stare at them for awhile and pass them by. (Secretly wishing I lived in Spaceship Earth because it would be a-okay for me to wear one of them every day!)

While I’m happy to chat about Disney and listen to park audio in the presence of others, I just can’t see myself carrying one of these bags to work and feeling 1) my age and 2) professional.

Let’s look at the Disney Charms design:

Dooney and Bourke Disney Charms Tassel
Disney Charms

I love that this design comes in black. I would jump for a black bag more than I would for white. To me, it goes with all seasons. I like the chains on this bag, but Donald’s face immediately catches my eye and it feels like way too much.

A bag that runs for $245 comes off way too childish.

 

Then there’s the case of actually liking the design but not the wording:

Dooney and Bourke Disney Sketch Pocket Satchel
Sketch Design

I love the whimsical feel of this one, but the Walt Disney World/Disneyland banner popping up all over it turns me off. It reminds me of those bags you can buy in ANY destination that scream PARIS and MONTAUK. Not exactly what I want in a $238 bag.

When it comes to shopping Dooney and Bourke in Disney, I believe the best investment are the wristlets. I have one of the earlier designs and I use it all the time. The quality is fantastic, you can use it for makeup/money/camera case, and the best part is that you can put it INSIDE your purse so it isn’t always on display.

At the moment, I really like this one:

Dooney and Bourke Comic Strip Wristlet
Comic Strip Design

I’m hoping as time goes on the designs will improve. This weekend, the 20th anniversary marathon purse will make its debut down in Florida and, you know, they did a-okay with this one.

Dooney and Bourke Marathon 20th Anniversary
D&B Marathon

There aren’t so many colors that you are scrambling to find an ensemble/outerwear that will go with the purse, and the Mickey silhouette is actually pretty subtle. This is one of the only designs I could see myself buying as an actual everyday bag. (Or at least a weekender bag; they would pair awesome with jeans and brown riding boots.)

In the end, it’s pretty impressive that a classic company like Dooney and Bourke would form such an alliance with Disney. And I think it’s awesome if you have one of these bags in your collection. I just know that when I’m making an investment in an accessory like this, I want to know it’s going to carry a lot of books and withstand the test of time — not only the minutes ticking by but the fashions that so easily sweep through year after year.

…maybe what I truly want is variety! Some crisp + clean designs thrown into the vibrant, woo-hoo (!!) Disney selection. So maybe I’ll be drooling over a D&B Disney bag and not this:

Kate Spade Fabric Little
Kate Spade

Posted by

A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

7 thoughts on “The Deal with Dooney and Bourke

  1. Totally wish I could carry around one of the bright outrageous theme park designs, or maybe the balloons, but in NYC? I don’t think so. In Florida I’d do it without thinking twice. We need some nice urban-friendly designs!

  2. Just happened to come across your blog and like what you have to say..

    Thank you all your thoughts and feelings on Disney!

    Susan

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