Disney Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring Exploratorium: Two icons of American society brought together in a pop-up concept launched by NYC-based brand Coach


The family-run leather goods business Coach, founded in New York City in 1941, has grown into a fashion house over the decades and is now renowned worldwide for its distinctive, hometown-inspired collections. Its most recent innovation is a collaboration between two legendary American cultural references, Mickey Mouse and the artist Keith Haring, showcased in a stunning pop-up store.



Coach: pop-up concepts since 2018 


The Coach brand has been opening limited-time sales points for several years now. The famous pop-up store, which is based on a marketing strategy set up in the US in the 2000s. Found half-way between brick & mortar and street marketing, this format has become quite the trend, meaning brands can host events and create a buzz both with their customers and the media. As Nicolas Hayek, founder of Swatch, itself one of the pioneers of the pop-up store, succinctly put it, “we come, we make a noise and we leave”. 

In June 2018, the brand opened an interactive pop-up boutique in the Soho area of New York: Life Coach. An immersive and multi-sensory experience. The following year in April 2019, the first pop-up dedicated to menswear was launched in the Aventura Mall in Miami. Between 7 and 15 September 2019, “The Coach Originals”, featuring a collection of pieces inspired by the brand’s archives, were showcased at its Madison Avenue store. Finally, in March 2021, the brand launched a series of 3 ‘phy-gital’ (physical + digital) pop-up stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore.


A collaboration between two icons of American society: Mickey Mouse and the artist Keith Haring

In December 2020 and January 2021, New York-based brand Coach invited its customers to a new virtual pop-up store dedicated to the Disney character Mickey Mouse and the artist Keith Haring called “Disney Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring Exploratorium”. 

Like many other luxury brands are now doing, Coach has designed a dual collaboration, featuring two renowned references of American pop culture. A collaboration that is both playful and facetious, thumbing its nose at the traumas American society is currently going through (political polarisation, protect movements and the pandemic etc.).


Disney Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring Exploratorium:  a significant and remarkable experience


The virtual pop-up store housed five interactive rooms, taking the customer on an immersive journey into the world of Keith Haring, to discover or rediscover his artistry, as well as the universe of the famous Disney mouse.

The store also housed three exhibition areas: a Gallery, a Courtyard and a Workshop. The three rooms showcase items from Disney Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring collection, allowing visitors to get a 360o  view along with information on the products. The items are also linked to the e-store for customers who wish to order them online.

In the Subway and Shoptorium room, visitors can enjoy a virtual experience by creating their own street art, or trying out Virtual Reality filters.


A stunning and seductive way to preserve the connection with their customers


The opening of the virtual Disney Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring Exploratorium pop-up has come at an unprecedented time: the current health and economic crisis brought about by Covid-19, which has completely changed both customer relationships and the customer experience. A crisis that demands transformation, change and new routes to explore. Brands and retailers have now realised that they must innovate and think outside the box in order to stay in touch with their customer base, whatever the circumstances. Designing immersive, playful, seductive and colourful spaces to give clients unforgettable experiences, which they’ll remember for a long time to come. The Disney Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring Exploratorium is a perfect example of this.


Thierry Strickler