The first big fashion collaboration of 2022 screams “Pink Power.”
Mattel, the maker of Barbie, and French luxury fashion label Balmain ushered the new year with an unprecedented partnership to celebrate the brands’ impact on fashion and culture.
The brands’ limited-edition collection is composed of 50-piece ready-to-wear fashion and accessories in pink—the color synonymous with Barbie.
In case you are wondering, the pieces in the collection are made for humans and not for dolls.
Balmain’s design team led by creative director Olivier Rousteing took inspiration from Barbie’s familiar bright and colorful image while retaining the established aesthetic and opulence that the fashion label has built up over the past decade.
Rousteing’s vision weaves through Barbie’s signature look and emblems—from the 1990s-era Barbie logo to its iconic packaging.
These are seen in the almost 100% unisex collection pieces that include badges, tees, hoodies, silk menswear suits, structured bodycon dresses and more that also carry the Balmain’s classic marinière and labyrinth patterns.
Also included in the collection are three one-of-a-kind NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that feature distinctive Barbie and Ken avatars donning different looks from the collection, which will be going under the virtual hammer exclusively through Mattel Creations.
These NFTs mark the first time Barbie is entering the digital art world. Each NFT will be accompanied by a one-of-a-kind bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces.
“Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries,” said Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel.
He added, “As a fashion house committed to innovation in unexpected and joyous ways, Balmain, under Olivier Rousteing’s creative direction, is the perfect partner to translate the iconography that is unique to Barbie into a modern iteration of digital art and physical fashion.”
For his part, Rousteing showed enthusiasm with the partnership, especially that the collection blurs gender boundaries.
“For this collaboration, we are building upon the new New French Style of Balmain’s most recent collections, once again showing that Balmain is inspired by the truly diverse and exciting beauty found on today’s Parisian boulevards and avenues,” he said.
“This collection also rejects any arbitrary gender limitations—this is an almost 100% unisex collection. For, just as today’s Barbie makes clear, there's nothing holding us back anymore!” Rousteing added.
The Barbie x Balmain ready-to-wear and accessories line will be available for purchase on Jan. 13 at Balmain stores, balmain.com, Mattel Creations and retailers worldwide.
Meanwhile, the NFTs will be up for auction on Jan. 11 at NFT.MattelCreations.com.