Barbie: Fashion Icon

“A Little Girl can be anything she wants to be” (Barbara Handler, Creator of the Barbie Doll).

She is a doll sold around the world every 30 seconds. Her story, or the “HERSTORY” maps the social aspirations of little girls around the world. Here are some interesting facts about Barbie that might open up your view of this unique phenom who is a change maker, despite her critics.

Barbie Fashion + Facts:

A. She has always Sold Directly to Consumers (children) when the toy industry turned away. 

B.  “Kids Choose Barbie” not the Parents so reaching out directly to kids via commercial partners has been a measure of the success.

C.  Barbies are sold at a Low Price but the profits come from the clothes and accessories.

D.  Celebrity style adapted from the likes of Marilyn Monroe or Jackie Kennedy inspired the first fashion styles introduced in the 1960s.

E.  The LILY doll from Germany was the model for the American Barbie doll.

F.  Barbie’s clothes now, are more expensive than the dolls in many cases, with couture designers competing for the chance to design for the world’s ultimate client: Barbie.

G.  There is a secondary auction market for the early dolls, such as the Bubble Cut Barbie, who with original clothes is worth a fortune. Collectible dolls from the last 20 years are also in demand.

H.  Accessories designed by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Chanel and more are there to outfit the Barbie with an unlimited budget.

I.  Barbie and Ken’s relationship lasted 40 years, then, they broke up in 2011 and she dated a handsome Australian surfer, Blane.

K.  Gender Neutrality, Inclusivity, Disabilities, etc. all in new social norms we expect are being expressed in the past few years in special editions of the Barbie Doll that promote inclusivity.

L.  Careers, Aspirations and Dreams for the Barbie Doll – See the newly created category of famous women in history series. From Amelia Earhart, to Frida Kalo and Rosa Parks.

M.  A Barbie doll is sold around the world about every three seconds. 

N.  Disney Micky Mouse Club was the place for Barbie to advertise to this demographic at a time when television advertising was in its heyday.

O. The Barbie Dream House and the ‘Malibu Barbie’ Beach house were the most important real estate in the world of Barbie. What would they be worth today?

P. Barbie for President. Yes, we have not yet had a female President but that does not stop Barbie from dreaming that the top job, could be hers. Speaking of Jobs, Barbie has just about done them all, so, the running of a super power, is well, just another day in the world of Barbie.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Stay tuned for our podcast on the subject, and also to visit the website for the new BARBIE Exhibit and to get tickets, Click Here.