February 27, 2020
As Director of Brand Engagement for Old Navy, Julie Luker and her team are responsible for generating buzz about the brand – through media coverage, social media, events and influencer partnerships (fun, right?). They also help bring Old Navy’sCorporate Social Responsibility efforts to life, including Old Navy’s latest initiative – a partnership with Disney! Next Friday, Disney Pixar’s latest animated film, “ONWARD,” a story focused on unlocking the inner magic in younger generations, opens in theaters. Julie + team saw a real opportunity to do something special for our customers, while also aligning with our very own ONward!, Old Navy’s community platform focused on empowering future generations!
Read on to learn more about the partnership, a favorite pair of Mickey Mouse pants and what makes Julie #oldnavyproud.
- Tell us about the ONWARD movie and how Old Navy got involved: Disney is a partner we speak with regularly, and when we heard about ONWARD, there was an instant connection - not only the serendipitous name similarity, but also the theme. We knew there was an opportunity to create something special with Boys & Girls Club kids and Disney was on board! So, we invited kids from a local BGCA chapter to design tees inspired by the movie.
- What was the design process like for the kids?We brought them to the Pixar campus, which is a magical world…and the Club kids were in heaven. Pixar took them on the journey of the film, with writers, animators and producers all sharing their creative process. The talented kids then applied the themes of the film onto t-shirts, creating beautiful, unique expressions of the movie. Our design and merchandising teams - in partnership with Disney - then chose two final tees to produce.
- Amazing, how did the kids feel seeing their shirts comes to life?They were so honored to see their designs produced. They looked at the tees with awe and exclaimed – “That’s my handwriting!” And that wasn’t the end of the experience. We wanted these budding designers to get the full red-carpet experience, so we took them – and their moms - to the film’s world premiere in Hollywood. Their excitement was palpable as they waited for the stars. Chris Pratt was the first to arrive on the carpet, and he walked straight over to them and said - “Are you the kids who designed the Old Navy t-shirts? I’m so proud of you!” He then took a photo with them and shared it on his personal Instagram. They were jumping up and down with happiness, and I know they will cherish that special moment for the rest of their lives.
- Career advice for those looking for their dream job: Always be learning. Curiosity is your greatest ally for an enriching career. The learning process keeps you engaged, growing and able to consistently offer more to the organization.
- What makes you #oldnavyproud:I feel privileged to play a role in Old Navy’s values work. I’m always inspired by the first line of our manifesto - “Imagine that the world runs right” - as well as Don Fisher’s quote “Do More than Sell Clothes.” But Old Navy doesn’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. Our brand values coupled with our actions make me #oldnavyproud!
- Favorite Old Navy purchase:My 4-year-old son’s hero is Mickey Mouse. Last year the obsession was deep - stalker level. He had a pair of Mickey pants from Old Navy that I ultimately had to hide because he wore them into the ground. He’d pair them with his Mickey shoes, and we even treated him to a trip to “Mickey’s Castle” (aka the Magic Kingdom) where he rocked that look. I have so many cute photos and memories from those pants.
- Belonging at Old Navy means:Complete acceptance. Old Navy embraces its employees - and its customers - by celebrating what unites us, rather than highlighting what divides us. It’s a good reminder for how we should all look at the world.