For costume designer and CR contributor Shiona Turini, her experience growing up with Barbie dolls is comparable to that of many other women of color. “I clearly remember searching shelves for a doll that looked like me and coming up empty handed,” she said in an Instagram post. Barbie seemed to offer variation in hair color and tons of outfit options, but it wasn’t until 1980 that Mattel unveiled the first black Barbie with an afro hairstyle and a fiery red dress with gold accessories. Now, Turini is rewriting the history of black Barbie with a collaborative new collection of diverse dolls in honor of Black History Month.
“It was important for me to reflect Barbie as an icon through the lens of black culture during Black History Month,” Turini shared. “I drew inspiration from the first black Barbie, who debuted her all-red look in 1980. My vision was to style diverse dolls in bold looks with themes seen throughout my work, like contrasting snakeskin and leopard challenging traditional uniformity.”
Spread out over four visuals, the collaboration encompasses 10 black models of all shapes, colors, and sizes. The collection is styled monochromatically in various color palettes from mixed pastel tones to all red in homage to the first black Barbie.
“Here she is, on her customized throne, surrounded by friends created and styled by me. I hope other young children, and adult Barbie lovers, are as excited to see themselves reflected in these dolls as I am,” Turini said. “Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment.”END
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createdAt:Tue, 18 Feb 2020 21:29:41 +0000