Monday, May 20, 2019

Barbie: Fashion Icon

Hmmm, even a doll can be recognized as a fashion icon. 

The universally popular Mattel doll – which turned 60 on March 09 this year – has been announced as the recipient of the Board of Directors’ Tribute at this year’s CFDA Fashion Awards, which will take place in Brooklyn on June 03. She is joining such past honorees as Michelle Obama, Tom Ford and Gloria Steinem.

In fact, Barbie is the first non-living attendee to ever receive the award.

If you don’t know already, the CFDA Awards are designed to celebrate the best of the US fashion industry and according to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the honor is a nod to Barbie’s “influence on American fashion and her role as an inspiring icon around the globe”. 

Barbie (left) has collaborated with more than 75 designers and influencers. The brand’s first designer partnership was with Oscar de la Renta in 1985. 

Barbie also collaborated with Bob Mackie, who will be awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s ceremony, on a collector doll series in 1990. In fact, Mackie began the Designer Collector series for Mattel and created more than 45 Barbie Collector Dolls for the brand. 

Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Sui, Zac Posen, Badgley Mischka and Stephen Burrows are among the CFDA members who have created special dolls with Barbie. 

“Barbie has had such wide influence on American fashion and culture”, said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA. “Her story personally resonates with so many CFDA members that the board of directors decided to honor her with the special tribute”. 

Barbie’s creator and Mattel’s president Ruth Handler created the doll to allow girls, like her then-young daughter, Barbara, to play out their dreams. The first mass-marketed doll not to be a baby or young girl, 

Handler once explained, “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that, through the doll, the little girl could be anything that she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices”. 

Over the years, Barbie has had 200 professions, from astronaut and firefighter to scientist, nurse and airline pilot.

Note that as I am putting this write-up together, I am scratching my head in bewilderment. I mean, I just can't relate to this.

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