Come on Barbie, let's go shopping
As Barbie fever continues to infiltrate every corner of fashion, lifestyle, design and pop culture, we’re looking at how the world’s favorite doll is influencing style choices made by lovers of every aesthetic.
The Power of Pink
The resurgence of Barbie pink first appeared in 2020, when a new generation of consumers found themselves wanting a bolder and more vibrant variation of millennial pink, which had dominated the design landscape for the decade prior.
When Valentino partnered with Pantone to create a brand new shade, Pink PP, and showcased 48 looks made up from the hue at Paris Fashion Week A/W 22-23, the power of pink was cemented. Since then, we’ve seen the iconic design house’s influence trickle down into collections by fashion brands at every price point, bringing Barbie pink back into almost every home and closet.
Dressed for Dopamine
Whilst it’s undoubtedly the most recognizable and makes the most significant statement, wearing the color pink isn’t the only way to give a nod to this trend. Sky blue, seafoam green, yellow, red and black play important roles when channeling Barbie, as seen in some of Margot Robbie and other cast members’ most recent looks, however, it’s about so much more than just color…
The idea of ‘Dopamine Design’ first emerged as global lockdowns began to lift, ushering in a new era of personal style where glamour, over-accessorizing and dressing for joy sat at the forefront. This approach to style and passion for individuality continues to empower people to reach for whatever makes them feel best and lean into fun – which has underpinned Barbie and everything she stands for since the doll’s very beginning. Functionality can be sacrificed for a sense of whimsy and frivolity, and every moment marks an occasion to go the extra mile with an elevated look.
The Queen of Collaborations
From suitcases to sundaes, furniture to fragrances, customers have access to Barbie in their favorite forms from retailers across the globe right now. However, in no industry is it more prevalent than fashion! The Corner Shop at London’s iconic Selfridges has transformed into a one-stop-shop of all things Barbie, carrying limited edition designs from the likes of Self Portrait and Saint Laurent to Amina Muaddi and Alexander McQueen. At the more accessible end, everyone from Crocs to Boohoo, Forever 21 to Gap is currently selling stylised collaborations.
It’s not just the big brands benefiting from the hype, though, with boutique and independent brands also able to find inspiration from Barbie even when official partnerships or licensing aren’t in place. WGSN, one of the world’s most respected trends forecasters, has reported a 21% growth in social media posts tagged with #BarbiePink - many of which are by brands, designers, stylists and influencers, helping customers to lean into Barbie-mania in ways that are authentic and reflective of their personal style through color, texture, shape and adornments.
As the cast of Barbie has brought life back to the red carpet, fashion and pop culture commentators and media have turned finding the cast’s reference points into an Olympic sport. With nostalgia driving several current trends–including Y2K, retro and indie–it’s no wonder people are obsessed with seeing their childhood favorites reimagined in 2023.