Mattel Just Launched A Line Of Barbies With Skin Tones and Hair Styles Of All Types
Mattel’s efforts to shake up the perception of their Barbie dolls continues! In the latest collection, which was released for Black History Month, the brand tapped a Black designer queen to create a collection that was truly inclusive, brilliantly Black and beautiful. The new line features a rainbow of Black skin tones and hairstyles that include afros, braids, and women in wheelchairs.
For their latest collection, the brand behind Barbie collaborated with creative consultant Shiona Turini.
The Bermudan stylist and costumer designer for the 2019 film “Queen & Slim” came up with over 20 looks for the new collection.
“I’ll never forget being in New York as a young black girl and finding a Black Barbie, and especially a Black Barbie birthday set,” Turini told People magazine in a recent interview. “Barbie is a historic brand that was inclusive before it was trendy.”
As part of her inspiration, Turini used the original Black Barbie (1980).
Turini paired up the original look with a Barbie in an afro.
“That was the basis for this image,” Turini explained in the interview. “We decided to have her on her throne with the other dolls dressed in her likeness, also in the red to support her.”
According to Turni, every aspect of the collection drew inspiration from Black activists.
Turini says she also found inspiration in the film Queen & Slim for the outfits in this most recent collection.
“When I worked on the movie ‘Queen & Slim’ the stand-out, ‘hero’ look for me was mixing snakeskin and tiger prints in the same look,” Barbie Style explained. “The contrast of the two patterns completely subverts expectations, and I was excited to use the same formula on pieces such as Barbie’s thigh-high boots to break the traditional mold of dolls I had grown up playing with.”
As we’ve seen with the Frida, La Catrina, and the recent release of vitiligo and hairless Barbie, it’s important that ALL people feel seen. “Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment,” she told CR Fashion Book.