For several decades Barbie dolls has been apart of our childhood growing up. Over the years Barbie manufacturer Mattel has introduced several new additions to their Barbie family, one recent addition is a line of Barbies coincided with Black History Month (February). The new design was produced in collaboration with Bermudan stylist and creative consultant Shiona Turini.
Mattel has been working hard over the past years to produce diverse dolls that represent women of all colors, shapes, sizes, and even careers. The new collection is part of Barbie Style, which is a series that merges fashion, art, and culture.
Turini explained that, “I grew up obsessed with Barbie and while she was one of my first fashion icons, I clearly remember searching shelves for a doll that looked like me and coming up empty-handed. The first black Barbie was introduced in 1980—in a sparkly red dress with an Afro pick in her hair.”
To pay homage to the original black Barbie, Turini decided to reintroduce her into the new lineup and also added a bunch of new dolls into the collection who are styled to celebrate the diversity of black culture.
The new Barbie line feature a range of skin tones, hairstyles, including braids, afros, finger waves, and “everything in between.” Also inspired by the original black Barbie is the new outfit collection which has also been designed in red, but she also used her creativity and inspiration influenced by the costumes she designed for Queen & Slim, a film she worked on last year.
“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. 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.”