Interview: Disney Bounder Leslie Kay Discusses Her New Book, Her Blog, and Her Love of the Craft (Exclusive)
Recently, I had the opportunity to conduct an interview via e-mail with published author and Disney bounder, Leslie Kay. Disney bounding, the practice of dressing in outfits that reflect a Disney character without a costume, was popularized by Kay with the creation of her blog.
This April, she published a book in which she discusses this craft and was able to feature numerous photos and examples of outfits from people across the Disney bounding community. This book, titled DisneyBound: Dress Disney and Make it Fashion is available from Disney Editions and can be purchased wherever books are sold.
First of all, how long have you been Disney bounding?
Like I’m sure a lot of bounders out there, I’ve loved dressing up since I was a little kid. Sometimes that was in the form of a costume…other times it would be from items in my own closet that reminded me of a character that I loved at the time. Some people dress like their favourite celebrities…for me it was always Disney characters.
Where did your inspiration for Disneybounding come from?
The blog was born out of my love for Disney, clothing and the fact that I had a lot of free time on my hands. It was just a place where I could channel my excitement for an upcoming trip by creating outfits based off my favourite characters that I could wear on my trip. I honestly didn’t expect it to be much of anything…it was just meant to be a fun creative outlet for me but within a few weeks, the whole thing went viral. It was a pretty wild ride.
This trend that you started has become a massive sensation. Tell me when you realized your movement had made a significant impact on pop culture
Well, I can’t take full credit for the trend, as I know people have been dressing in Disney Style since the 90’s. When I started the blog and saw it quickly gain such traction, I realized the incredible potential to form a global community. Even now…the community is bigger than I ever expected it could be. I think one of the coolest moments was seeing it in Tokyo, Japan…and interacting with Disney bounders over there. That’s sort of the moment that I realized how big the Disney bounding community is.
How has this hobby changed your life?
I never thought I’d have the opportunity to become a published author. That’s got to be one of the coolest opportunities this blog and hobby has brought my way. The book aside, I love how vast the Disney bounding community is. It has people from all over the world…all walks of life…all connected under one umbrella. I think that’s the coolest part for me. I don’t think I would’ve ever been in contact with so many people if this didn’t happen.
Tell me about the origin of creating this book and what that process was like?
The process was a really fun experience. It was a great team effort so it doesn’t feel right to take all the credit. The Disney Publishing team worked really hard to pull all these thoughts and ideas together. Ensuring I could get as many Disney bounders in the book as possible was really important to us. This is a community of over half a million people worldwide, and it was fun to get into contact with so many new Bounders, so many of whom I had never met from all over the world, and to see their take on their favourite characters. We have bounders from Japan, China, England, France, and Australia.
What was the experience like collaborating with other people in the Disneybound community for the book?
It was a lot of fun—especially because we were able to open submissions to the entire community. With a community of over half a million bounders worldwide, we were flooded with submissions from the community showing off their interpretations of their favourite Disney characters. The team had such a hard time picking photos, there were so many amazing submissions…I wish the book could’ve been a million pages long!
Do you have a personal favorite Disneybound that you would like to share or one of your favorites featured in your new book?
From submissions to the final book…there are so many AMAZING bounds out there that it’s literally impossible to pick just one. I would almost just say to go check out #disneybound on Instagram to see all of the incredible outfits people have put together. It’s endless hours of scrolling!
One of the amazing things about social media is that it has given people like you a platform to share their ideas with people around the world. Do you have any advice for people who are looking to share their interests online?
Social media is so great for connecting niche markets together and building these amazing communities. I’d say…no matter your idea, even if you feel like it’s silly or nobody will be into it, share it anyways. I PROMISE you that there will be other people out there who are into the same things you are. You’ll put a smile on so many faces by sharing your craft and you’ll meet incredible like-minded people who enjoy the same things you do.
You can also check out our other exclusive interviews, including our most recent one with Disney Legend Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel and Barbie.