Céline Dion will never forget taking her twin boys to Disney World and having a revelation.
“I thought they were going to go for the big superheroes. They were looking at princesses. And they all wanted to be Minnie Mouse,” the five-time Grammy-winning singer and designer said during a recent interview with CNN.
“And then I said, ‘But what about Mickey?’” Dion recalled. They replied, “‘Oh, we like Mickey, but can we be …’ and I end up saying to myself, ‘You know what, it’s OK.’ You know why it’s OK? Because they’re talking, they’re finding themselves.”
Dion has stayed away from gender stereotypes in raising the twins, now 8, and her 17-year-old son, she said. Now, she’s turned not conforming into a business, with a gender-neutral children’s clothing line in partnership with NUNUNU.
The line dropped Tuesday, along with a video featuring Dion entering a hospital and magically changing newborns from pink and blue outfits into blacks and whites, then getting arrested.
“There’s nothing wrong with the blues, pinks, yellows, grays, blacks, whites. I love all colors,” Dion told CNN. “It’s not because I think everyone should be dressed in black and white. … It’s about giving them freedom. Freedom of expression. Getting away from stereotype. Giving them the opportunity, before they speak, they already have a voice.
“The message I’m trying to get across is you raise your children the way you want to raise your children. You have to decide what’s right for them. We’re just proposing another way to take away the stereotype,” she said.
The company’s founders echoed Dion’s sentiment.
“It’s not a matter of color, fashion,” Iris Adler told CNN. “Fashion has power to shape people’s mind. We’re trying to shape the future of all human beings. Find your own individuality.”
Added Milchberg: “We bring a new order as a concept into the world.”
Beyond the CÉLINUNUNU fashion line, Dion has been busy.
She’s been performing in residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for the past 15 years, a stint that ends in June. Meantime, her first English album in five years is expected to drop around January 1.
“I will not come with AC/DC type of record,” Dion joked. “I am in the process of finishing my new English album. Hopefully, (it will be released) at the end of the year, beginning of next year.”
While spearheading business ventures and raising three sons, Dion also is learning to live without her husband of 22 years, René Angélil, who died of cancer in 2016, she said.
“I’m doing really great, and I’ll tell you why: The loss of my husband, before he passed away, I died first, I assisted him with all the strength I could. We knew he was going to go and pass, we knew that. He gave me so much (emotional) luggage. It was hard to see him die a little bit every day,” she said.
“It’s going to sound pretty strange, but what he gave me all those years, the luggage that he gave me, I’m opening suitcases right now as we’re talking,” Dion said. “I’m discovering who I am.”
“I hope it doesn’t sound strange to say, my husband still lives today,” she said. “I see him through the eyes of my children. He’s alive; he doesn’t suffer. The suffering for me was the hardest – for him and for me. So, now he’s fine. I’m finding a space for myself. I’m finding who I am. He’s telling me go ahead, open your wings.”