The renowned French fashion house Balmain is known for its modern design incorporating the timeless elements of luxury French fashion. Balmain’s latest collaboration will infuse French fashion with a timeless American icon Barbie for their latest collection.
Balmain channels perky pink with nearly every piece of the collection for a fusion of French and American styles that symbolizes the next big fashion collaboration, the whimsical world of toys. Barbie is known for being stylish making the collaboration a perfect match with the iconography of Mattel combined with the high-fashion designs of Balmain creating a collection fit for Barbie and completing the full doll fantasy.
Though there is no doll for the collaboration, the collection features a 50-piece Barbie-inspired collection for grown-ups with a unique presentation as the collection is modeled by diverse avatars with three NFTs featuring one-off looks that will be auctioned. Each of the NFTs comes with a doll-sized physical unisex design and will be one of the first of Barbie’s reaches into the digital collectible space that is becoming more popular.
The creative director of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, expressed his excitement for the collaboration saying, “Having Barbie in my Balmain army, making a collection inspired by her where there are no boy clothes or girl clothes, is my small revenge. I think Barbie represents a joyful dream world. There’s nothing wrong with a dream. But let’s push the dream and not dream of the 1950s or 1960s, but 2022. For me, it’s a lot more than just a commercial project. It’s very emotional.”
Rousteing speaks from his personal experience playing with Barbie as a kid which is one reason, he was interested in forming a partnership with Mattel starting with designing the clothing for the Claudia Schiffer Barbie doll. For the 2021 Balmain digital fashion show, C.G.I. versions of Barbie and Ken were in attendance.
Barbie has partnered with a long list of designers in the past including the late Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Donatella Versace, Diane von Furstenberg, and Michael Kors. Mattel celebrated Barbie’s 50th anniversary in a big way with a runway show dedicated to Barbie in 2009 at New York Fashion Week. For Barbie’s 60th anniversary the legendary doll was honored with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Board of Directors’ Tribute that was previously awarded to former first lady Michelle Obama.
This collection is inspired by Barbie’s influence and the concept of inclusivity on a broader scale that draws more interest from Mattel. The president and CEO of Mattel Richard Dickson believe that toys can potentially be a credible fashion accessories like perfume or handbags.
Dickson explains combining the fun of toys with the serious side of high fashion that Mattel has already seen success with another collaboration with a limited-edition Hot Wheels Cadillac inspired by the design of Gucci. Mattel created a limited line of 5,000 toy cars each costing $120 and sold out $600,000 worth of products with one collaboration. The potential of collaborating fashion with toys has a bright future with limitless potential.