Barbie's 50th Anniversary Runway Show
Happy Birthday Barbie!
The iconic doll celebrated 50 years with a runway show featuring looks created by 50 American designers, including Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui and Diane von Furstenberg. The world’s top models brought the doll to life in three themed wardrobe sets. The first looks were a tribute to the retro dolls of the '50s and '60s, followed by a Malibu Barbie-inspired crop with big hair and tanned skin, and the finale featured edgier looks with clear plastic toppers that gave the audience a peek into Barbie's bright future. See the looks from the show and hear what the designers had to say about Barbie.
The show's opening look, designed by Rachel Roy, was inspired by the first Barbie doll created in 1959. “As a little girl, my favorite was the original Barbie, who wore a black and white zebra-striped swimsuit," said Roy. "She represented beauty and style, but more importantly, she represented fun."
"Barbie is every little girl's first fashion muse and the catalyst to coveting a fabulous wardrobe. Fashionistas around the world are eternally grateful," said Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig.
“Who wouldn’t want to be Barbie? She never gets old. She’s got a hot body and a great wardrobe," said Nanette Lepore.
“Barbie is an American fashion icon, and I have fond childhood memories of dressing her,” said Monique Lhuillier.
“Barbie perseveres today as a cultural icon; her allure is as broad as it is individualized. Her enchanting essence has allowed generations of women to enter a world of make-believe that knows no boundaries,” says Vera Wang.
“Barbie has always been an inspiration," says Reem Acra. "Dressing her was part of ever girl’s dream. We had a live-in seamstress who made my clothes; and while she was making my clothes, I would sit next to her and make matching outfits for Barbie with the leftover fabric.”
“Growing up, I never had a Barbie since my mother, being French, only bought me dolls from France, despite my begging for a Barbie," said Nicole Miller. "Years later, I was given the opportunity to design two Barbies which mean a lot to me since I had never gotten to own one as a child. To me, Barbie is a true American icon.”
“I realized one of my childhood dreams when I created an Anna Sui Barbie doll for Mattel. It was really like the ultimate little girl’s fantasy," said Anna Sui. "I had grown up making clothes for my dolls, and of course, I always loved dressing Barbie.”
“Barbie represents the best in all women. Over the years, she has shown young girls all around the world that they can be anything they want to be-a lawyer, a doctor, or an astronaut -and look fabulously fashionable doing it. She is a modern day icon,” said designer Kimora Lee Simmons.
“The Flag is the ultimate dress for the most famous American icon,” said Catherine Malandrino.
Diane von Furstenberg
"Barbie represents a confident and independent woman with an amazing ability to have fun while remaining glamorous," said Diane von Furstenberg.
“Barbie is an iconic image which continues to fascinate young women everywhere," said Derek Lam. "As we consider all the positive advances women continue to make in society, Barbie represents that grace and style are also part of what can make a young woman’s life exciting and beautiful.”
“What we remember most are Barbie and the Rockers, those perms were perfection!” said designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra.
“I love Barbie’s fun spirit! She makes me think of happy outfits and bright colors. I think of ‘pink butterflies’ representing her femininity,” said Koi Suwannagate.
“I had a Barbie before I had a G.I. Joe,” said Alexander Wang.
“My mother let me wear her evening gowns and heels but never allowed me to own a Barbie," said Kai Kuhn. "I managed to fulfill my urges at my neighbor’s, experimenting and creating looks, hair and makeup-my early fashion school.”
“Looking at Barbie’s style over the past 50 years gives us a unique insight into how fashion has changed with every decade," said Tory Burch. "Young girls have always admired her individuality, beauty, independence and fashion sense. She continues to change with the times and I am so thrilled to be part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of Barbie.”
Three as Four
“Barbie will always be the first and ultimate inspiration for the creation of fashion-for all girls, and some boys, too," said designers Ange Donhauser, Adi Gil and Gabi Asfour.
“Barbie has been completely foreign and familiar to me-it is unreal yet typical," said designer Wenlan Chia. "This mixed quality makes Barbie the best model to dress as she can be changed to anyone.”
“Barbie is the quintessential woman: confident, sexy and sophisticated," says Kenneth Cole. "She continuously defines and reinvents herself through her fashion choices and her excellent choice of a distinguished and fashionable partner: Ken.”
“Barbie is everything that an All-American gal should be… sporty, smart, sophisticated and sexy,” said Michael Kors.
“Barbie is a risk taker with a hint of sophistication. Her style is constantly evolving with the newest trends. She will always be an inspiration to young girls because of her sense of style,” said designer Amir Slama.
"Happy birthday Barbie. Stars are ageless," said designer Bryan Bradley.
“Barbie, like a diamond, is forever," said designers Phillipe and David Blond.
“Barbie is the quintessential American icon. She represents a woman’s first experience with style, transcending generations and cultures; she holds a special place in the fashion world and is an inspiration to many designers,” said Tommy HIlfiger.
“A young girl’s first grown-up doll-where fashion meets fantasy,” said Donna Karan.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to design for an American pop culture icon like Barbie," said Brian Reyes. "She's always kept up with the times and proves that it really is possible for a woman to have it all."
House of Field
“It’s been my honor to dress some of the most glamour women in the world and Barbie is creational among the ultimate ‘It Girls’!” exclaimed designer Patricia Field.
"Barbie and I have had quite a long and fabulous star-designer relationship, so I knew immediately how excited she would be to make her Bryant Park debut in one of my creations," said Bob Mackie. "Our Barbie never went through those awkward teen years and has obviously drifted into middle age without a hit. Go girl-you're looking good!"
"Barbie is an ageless and inspirational fashion icon," said designer Tracy Reese. "She is a piece of Americana, who shows girls, young and old, they can be anything they dream to be-a doctor, a beauty queen, an astronaut, or a teacher, all of course, while wearing the perfect fashion ensemble."
"Barbie is a true icon," said Mark Badgley and James Mischka. "From the beginning, her various incarnations have been a wonderful reflection of all-American style."
"Barbie instantly sparks conversation when you bring up her name," said Tibi designer, Amy Smilovic. "For me, she's the only one who has truly withstood the test of time-able to be passed down through generations. She's the 'Mick Jagger' of toys."
"Barbie is a little girl's introduction into fashion and style," said Rebecca Taylor. "They learn how to express personal style by mixing and matching pieces and creating different looks from the Barbie doll collections. Barbie has inspired little girls around the globe for the past 50 years and will continue to be a fashion icon."
"I've always found clothing to be a great vehicle for fantasy," said Erin Fetherston. "Barbie is a perfect example of this. With each change of her outfit, we've seen Barbie do and be anything and everything. This is what I find so magical about fashion, it gives us the ability to channel and experiment with identity, self-expression, and imagination through our own self-styling."