No one throws a party better than Barbie! This March, the iconic doll brand is marking 60 years since its initial creation and launch at the New York Toy Fair. To celebrate, Barbie hosted a pink birthday bash at Pitti Immagine Bimbo 88 and we joined in the fun! The exhibition featured the captivating history of the doll, along with a preview of a capsule collection by Patrizia Pepe.
The brand’s innovative creator, Ruth Handler, was first inspired to launch Barbie when she noticed a lack of diversity among children’s toys. Handler’s son, Ken, had the freedom to play with toys that mimicked firefighters, astronauts, and doctors. Meanwhile, her daughter Barbara’s dolls were constrained to various caregiver roles. Handler, who also co-founded Barbie’s parent company Mattel, decided to launch a collection of toys that challenged this stereotype. The 1960’s collection featured Barbie as a Fashion Editor, Registered Nurse, Flight Attendant, and Executive Career Girl. Today, she has held over 200 professions, inspiring endless career possibilities for young girls.
The brand’s purpose is “to inspire the limitless potential in every girl” – and Barbie is true to her word. Dolls have evolved to include a diversity of hairstyles, skin colours, and body types. To teach young girls about important role models, Barbie has introduced special edition dolls such as Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, and Misty Copeland. In addition, the brand has launched influential initiatives, such as teaching young girls coding and STEM skills.
While the exhibition is only featured at Pitti Bimbo from January 17 to 19, fans will have many other opportunities to join in on the fun! The doll’s 60th birthday will be celebrated with other events and exciting licensing projects. Among these, a Barbie-inspired tennis shoe capsule collection by Sergio Tacchini, handmade chocolate by Zàini, and delicious baked goods by Caffarel.
Thanks for inviting us to join the birthday celebration! We can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish in your 60s.
Models wear items from the Patrizia Pepe Capsule Collection.