Barbie 64th Anniversary: From Pink Iconic Trend to Barbiecore Aesthetic
Recognized as a bestselling icon, Mattel’s most famous doll celebrates its birthday on March 9th: how she has changed from 1959 to today.
As Barbie, one of the most popular dolls in the world approaches her 64th anniversary, it’s never been clearer that there really is a Barbie outfit for just about every occasion.
She can don evening wear, casual mid-day looks, or even fashion couture. She’s inspired Mattel to create dolls in the likeness of models, actresses, and other iconic historical figures, and she’s always had the right outfit to match. In fact, those special Barbie outfits have been created by some of the most iconic designers over the decades, who have collaborated with Barbie to make her look glamorous for 64 years.
A bit of history about the famous doll: Barbara Millicent Roberts made her debut on the American toy market in 1959, but the truth is, "Barbie" was never meant to be just a pretty plaything. Created by the co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler, the true intention was to give young girls a doll that doubled as a role model.
With her shapely figure, carefully styled platinum blonde ponytail and curly bangs, strapless black and white geometric bathing suit and spiked heels, Barbie was at once an instant icon and outrageous. Over 200 Barbie outfits have represented the fictitious persona's many impressive career paths, including doctors and astronauts, air force pilots, and beyond.
But after 64 years, is Barbie still in fashion star?
Even if Barbie has evolved her body (Mattel now has a much more inclusive offering in terms of body type and ethnicities) the most interesting part is still the doll's bold fashion sense. For many people, Barbie is still a muse today.
With the release in July 2023, the debut of the Barbie live-action by Greta Gerwig is set to reignite the fervour surrounding Barbiecore trend. It's safe to say Barbiecore as a fashion movement has been building even before we caught sight of Margot Robbie stepping into the titular role.
For instance, Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde” circa 2001 was essentially a Barbie girl in a lawyer's world. From the collaboration with Nicki Minaj in 2011 to the hot pink Barbie one-piece worn by Paris Hilton in 2015. We also can't forget Gigi Hadid's shiny, millennial pink pantsuit from 2017 and a floor-length, fuchsia motorcycle dress worn by Kacey Musgraves at the 2019 Met Gala.
Barbiecore is rooted in aspiration, it's what made the doll so popular after all. Barbiecore's fans will know that dressing like Barbie is a lifestyle, it's about emulating the attitude of our Y2K icons like the cast of Mean Girl.
So, how can Barbiecore translate into your wardrobe?
The Barbiecore aesthetic is ever-evolving. Barbie is inspired by pop culture and fashion. And like many of us, her style evolves to be reflective of today's trends and culture. For 2023, as we head back to the office and regain our city lives, it's Barbie's authentic playfulness and bright, bold colour palette that people are trying to inject into their daily routines.
Well, pink does remain Barbie's go-to shade. Pink has always been Barbie's favourite colour — she even has her own signature 'Barbie Pink' Pantone shade, PMS 219. Pink (and all shades) represents limitless potential and is a symbol of female empowerment, which is a perfect fit for our brand's purpose. But the Barbiecore aesthetic is more than a color - The true beauty of it is that you can unleash your inner Barbie in whatever form you please, be that typical vintage pieces, romantic silhouettes, or chic & kitsch styles.
Below, our best pretty Barbiecore-inspired outfits to add to your very own Barbie dream closet.
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