Disney and Virgil Abloh Securities unite on colourful six-foot-tall Mickey Mouse sculpture

Virgil Abloh Securities and Disney reveal a new sculpture at London’s Royal College of Art inspired by a 2018 artwork by Virgil Abloh, part of Disney’s 100th birthday celebrations

Disney Virgil Abloh Securities Mickey Mouse Sculpture
Virgil Abloh Securities’ ’The Structural Sorcerer – a Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ sculpture, unveiled at London’s Royal College of Art as part of Disney ‘Create 100’
(Image credit: Photography by Vianney Le Caer, courtesy of Disney)

‘Virgil was always a huge fan of Disney,’ says COO of Virgil Abloh Securities Athi Selvendran on the reveal of a new six-foot-tall Mickey Mouse sculpture, inspired by Abloh’s artworks of the cartoon mouse created for CHAOS magazine in 2018. 

A riff on ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ Mickey – who appears in Walt Disney’s 1940 movie Fantasia – the artworks were first created by Abloh for the London-based magazine on the occasion of Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday. The recreation by Virgil Abloh Securities and Alaska Alaska, unveiled at London’s Royal College of Art last week, is part of another landmark anniversary – 100 years of Disney, which will see the cultural behemoth host exhibitions, concerts and special events across the year. Its colourful lattice-like design is inspired by Abloh’s metal ‘grid’ furniture, which appeared in various iterations after his first foray into the medium in 2016.

This particular project is part of Disney’s ’Create 100’, which sees 100 international creatives spanning a vast array of disciplines – among them musical megastar Beyoncé, Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and footwear designer Christian Louboutin – contribute an item which captures their own personal connection to Disney and its characters (including its properties Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars). Each will be auctioned off to raise funds for Make-a-Wish Foundation, launching with a $1 million donation from the cultural behemoth.

Disney and Virgil Abloh Securities’ colourful Mickey Mouse sculpture

Virgil Abloh Securities Disney Mickey Mouse Sculpture

The sculpture is based on a 2018 artwork by Virgil Abloh (bottom right), first created to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday

(Image credit: Photography by Vianney Le Caer, courtesy of Disney)

‘We wanted to bring a piece of artwork that was originally created by Virgil himself into the world through innovative metalwork and craftsmanship, allowing Disney fans and future creatives to engage with the sculpture and be inspired by all that it represents,’ says Selvendran, who was Abloh’s former chief of staff before becoming COO of Virgil Abloh Securities (the conglomerate was founded by CEO Shannon Abloh in 2022 to continue her husband’s creative legacy). ‘It’s really been a magical experience.’

Selvendran says that in referencing Fantasia – created by Walt Disney as an ode to classical music and taking place across fantastical landscapes populated with magical characters – is a nod to both Abloh and Disney’s ability to ‘open up a world of opportunities’. ‘Disney [is about] creating opportunities for the youth and teaching them to follow their dreams. This is also what Virgil exemplified and is the overarching goal of Virgil Abloh Securities as an entity. We hope the public will feel inspired by the artwork, encouraging them to channel their own creativity.’

As such, the setting of the Royal College of Art (RCA) – one of London’s foremost art, design and fashion institutions – was purposeful, having launched the ‘RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship’ in November 2022 at the university. Offering a full tuition fee scholarship for any programme at the Royal College of Art’s School of Design, it was founded to help ‘an extraordinarily talented but financially restricted’ Black British student.

Disney Virgil Abloh Securities Mickey Mouse sculpture

The sculpture was unveiled at London’s Royal College of Art, where the ‘RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship’ was launched in November 2022

(Image credit: Photography by Vianney Le Caer, courtesy of Disney)

‘Over the years, the RCA and Virgil formed a beautiful relationship based on a shared appreciation of collaboration, creative vision, and of course, education,’ said Shannon Abloh at the time. ‘We know that the RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship will break down financial barriers to fulfilling creative potential and empower talented young individuals to dream even bigger.’

‘It felt like the perfect place to engage with up-and-coming talent, university students, and the wider creative community in London,’ says Selvendran of the choice to launch the project in the RCA’s Battersea Location. ‘Throughout his work, Virgil Abloh strived to uplift young, creative voices and inspire them to dream bigger. With this scholarship, we are allowing recipients to do just that.’

As part of this commitment, a further part of the project sees Virgil Abloh Securities commission Nigeria-born, London-based multidisciplinary artist Favour Jonathan to create a sculpture of Dr Facilier from 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. The sculpture will also feature as part of Disney’s ‘Create 100’, in ‘a continued effort to amplify the next generation of creators’.



Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.