BARBIE : NOT JUST A DOLL
An evolutionary tale of the world’s most iconic doll
The story of Barbara Millicent Roberts is one that began on March 9 1959, when she was unveiled to the New York Toy Fair as the original teenage fashion model.
56 years later, Barbie® embodies confidence, passion and ambition and is stillempowering girls around the world with the ethos that with Barbie You Can Be Anything.
Contrary to popular belief, the must-have fashion icon doll was introduced to America with both blonde and brunette hair colour, and during a time frame that spans over half a century, the face of Barbie has seen a variety of looks and styles.
Sold in more than 150 different countries worldwide, Barbie has evolved since her original introduction and has been created to represent more than 40 different nationalities, from Mexican to Chinese to English to Indian. She now has – different eye colours, hair and skin colours and can even wear flat shoes. Barbie reflects our multi-cultural and multi-ethnical world that girls see around them.
Barbie has also had more than 150 careers since her original creation in 1959 including a surgeon, a fire-fighter and a UNICEF summit diplomat. The ultimate doll role model, Barbie supports all little girls’ aspirations – even those with presidential dreams.
Throughout the decades, no fashion trend has been overlooked. The Barbie doll has collaborated with more than 75 fashion designers worldwide including Givenchy, Christian Louboutin and Burberry, remaining a true fashion icon.
Barbie allows girls to truly express themselves. She fuels imagination, inspires creativity and encourages self-expression not only from imaginative playtimes but also through the many licensed products. The innovative range includes apparel and accessories, role play and electronics, as well as an extensive range of books and magazines.
Creator of Barbie, Ruth Handler sums it up beautifully: “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”
10 fun facts about Barbie:
- Barbie first appeared in the now-famous black-and-white striped swimsuit
- Barbie is from (fictional) Willows, Wisconsin where she attended High School
- Barbie doll’s first pet was a horse named Dancer
- Barbie doll stands 11.5 inches tall
- Barbie has been a muse to many artists over the past 5+ decades – including Andy Warhol and Peter Max
- Barbie doll made her European debut in 1961
- Barbie has set sail on the high seas with Royal Caribbean International, bringing a unique Barbie experience to its fleet of 21 ships around the world
- The best-selling Barbie doll ever was 1992 Totally Hair doll, with hair from the top of her head to her toes
- Barbie first broke through the plastic ceiling as a business executive in 1985
- Although she has never won an election, Barbie® has run for president 6 times since 1992