I’ve had a totally crazy year so far, and one of the many things I didn’t get a chance to announce yet was that I am a 2017 Peanuts Brand Ambassador! Throughout this year, I will get some amazing opportunities to share with you all regarding Snoopy and the gang.
“Snoopy & Belle in Fashion” is a completely contemporary reimagining of the inaugural “Snoopy in Fashion” project, which debuted in 1984 with such diverse designers as Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Oscar De La Renta, Giorgio Armani, L.L. Bean, Bob Mackie, and Sonia Rykiel. The show premiered at The Louvre, and went on to tour The L.A. County Museum, and throughout Europe and Asia, and inspired both paperback and hard cover art books.
The 2017 U.S. tour will see the premiere of all new one-of-a-kind creations in every city, displayed via on-trend vinyl Snoopy and Belle dolls, by designers who ingeniously capture the unique style of their region.
In Los Angeles, Oscar-winning Costume Designer Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Actress-Dancer Jenna Dewan Tatum x Danskin (Step Up) and Designer and Stylist Rachel Zoe (Editor-in-chief of digital style destination The Zoe Report) will debut their exclusive looks for the dolls.
They will be joining a group that features the world’s foremost designers—including Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson, Bibhu Mohapatra, Calvin Klein Collection, Children of our Town, Christian Siriano, Costello Tagliapietra, Cristiano Burani, DSquared2, Diane Von Furstenberg, DKNY by Donna Karan, Dries Van Noten, Emanuel Ungaro, Edwin Oudshoorn, Isaac Mizrahi, Isabel Marant, J. Mendel, Kaviar Gauche, Kenneth Cole, Le Mont St Michel, Le Snob, Lisa Perry, MAC Cosmetics, Macario Jimenez, Marta Larsson, Opening Ceremony, Philip Treacy, Rodarte, Royal Asscher x Pluma, Swarovski, Tracy Reese, Trussardi, Venera Arapu, VPL by Victoria Bartlett, and Zac Posen.
Sounds amazing, right?
Recently, I got to be part of an amazing interview with Jill Schulz, the daughter of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and Melissa Menta, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Peanuts Worldwide LLC, and the producer of the Snoopy and Belle In Fashion Exhibit.
We first asked about the about the exhibits and how they came to be. Melissa told us:
It’s a reimagination of an exhibit that first premiered in 1984. A woman who was in charge of spearheading Peanuts merchandise in Japan went to Charles Schulz, or Sparky as he was called, and asked if she could do this exhibit. He said “yes” and she pulled off this amazing feat of getting all the major designers in the world to design outfits for Snoopy and his sister Belle.
The original exhibit was called “Snoopy in Fashion.” They were plush dolls dressed by famous designers like Chanel, Betsey Johnson and everyone you could possibly imagine. Those dolls have been travelling the world ever since.
In 2014 we decided to reimagine the exhibit and got all new designers plus some from the original exhibit. Since then, we’ve been showing the exhibit around the world, and adding new designers. There were 25 designers in 2014, but the current exhibit on display at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles has close to 50 sets of dolls representing almost 50 designers. The new dolls in LA come from designers like Rachel Zoe and Academy Award winner Colleen Atwood.
I’m actually standing at the exhibit right now and it’s absolutely beautiful, so I hope whoever is local can come see it.
Next, we asked what the overall goal of the exhibit was. Melissa told us:
What’s interesting about Peanuts is that it speaks to people in different ways. Whether you go to an amusement park or see the Peanuts movie, but it’s also a fashion brand. If you talk to people in Europe, they see Peanuts as a fashion brand so this is a new way of showing Peanuts to be fashion forward and allowing people to enjoy the characters.
We asked Jill what her dad what think of this:
I know he would love it. My Dad never liked to travel. He always said, “I’ll go anywhere as long as I can be home by noon.” So it was a great feat when he traveled to Paris to see the original exhibit at the Louvre in 1984. It was a testament to his interest and respect to what these designers were doing with their talents in relationship to his characters. There were many other times when he was going to be traveling overseas and would change his mind within 24 hours of leaving and not go. But the 1984 trip was one he looked forward to. He always had a great respect for all people, their art, and entertainment.
And if her dad was fashionable:
My Dad? No, not at all actually. He was a slacks and sweater guy. He wasn’t one to have a celebrity lifestyle. He wasn’t even a fancy restaurant person. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t interested in fashion. He produced an ice show at the local ice arena for 30 or more years, and always supported the costume designer and took a great interested in making the show look good.
He wasn’t into the fashion himself, but if he did go to a special event or awards show he always dressed well. He would come out in his suit, stand extra tall and say, “What do you think Jill? How does this look?” He was probably a closet fashion guy, and loved dressing up when he had the chance, but there wasn’t much need for it in his day to day lifestyle.
We asked them both which one was their favorite. Jill told us:
There are so many great ones and I like them all for different reasons. Out of the memories of the 80s, living in LA and wearing Betsey Johnson all the time, I gravitate towards her designs more. So I would say Betsey Johnson just out of loyalty, but they’re all so great. It’s hard to have a particular favorite.
Melissa told us:
Jill makes a really good point about Betsey. She was part of the exhibit in 1984 and 2014, and when Twentieth Century Fox was preparing for the premiere of the Peanuts film, they asked me who would be good to create a look for Lucy that they could animate for the red carpet. Like Jill, I said “Betsey Johnson.” It was a no-brainer. She’s a special friend to Peanuts.
We all had such a great time! Is there a question we should have asked?