On Thursday night in L.A.’s Sunset Tower Hotel, everyone was a Barbie girl in Barbie’s newly diverse world.
Dressed in a black, long-sleeved Tom Ford dress with matching shoes and a Marc Jacobs handbag (she rocked the dress because Ford "appreciates a curvy woman"), English host Amanda de Cadenet (above, right) welcomed beauties like Queen Latifah (above, left), Gwen Stefani (above, center), Amber Riley (below, left), and Moschino designer Jeremy Scott into Barbie’s "Reshape the Conversation" dinner, where figureheads from all walks of life were on hand to celebrate Barbie’s new tall, petite, and curvy variations.
Sure, Mattel has previously introduced a broader range in skin tones, eye color, and hairstyles; however, this expansive, bold move helped spice up everyone’s celebratory spirits. "It’s a big deal that they’re risking making this kind of change… I think this is one of the times you can actually support [Barbie] and I like to support women," de Cadenet told InStyle, adding, "Young girls are going to see themselves reflected in her new crew and that is what’s so important."
While guests dined on salmon and chicken paillard, the host shared inspirational words with both Latifah and Stefani. For the Bessie star, her memories with every girl’s favorite plaything go way back. "Barbie taught me about really sticking up for others and protecting other people—sticking up for those who couldn’t stick up for themselves, because Barbie was always in danger in my house," she told us. "Barbie was really like an opportunity for me to hang out in my room and just create an entire life." Like those around her, Latifah also applauded Barbie’s 57-year history and ability to evolve: "You have to stay open to change."
Always one to up the ante, Stefani rocked a Barbie-appropriate bright pink dress with a necktie. For the singer, the doll not only served as an escape, but also still inspires her work today. "I definitely loved Barbie. I played all the time. I think for me, it wasn’t really so much about playing imaginary stories—it was all about getting ready," she told de Cadenet, explaining how she still takes a "story"-like approach to her method of dressing.
Even fashion designers love the All-American toy. "She’s a muse… she’s done everything, she’s worn everything. I definitely just think of her as being a limitless possibility," Scott added. "I think she’s a positive icon and have always felt that way about her."
For Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice president and global brand general manager at Mattel Brands, it’s what’s ahead that excites her. "This change of adding three new body types to add more diversity and variety within the collection is really a part of being more relevant and expressing, and reflecting the world that girls live in today," she noted. "You’re going to be able to pick one or many that speak to you and create more stories than you ever did before."
"At the end of the day, it’s really about inspiring girls’ imaginations. When you give them more choice, I think the stories will be even greater," she added. Amen to that!