Mattel has partnered with French luxury fashion label, Balmain to release an imminent collection and a series of exclusive NFTs. According to Mattel, the collection was developed as a celebration of both Barbie and Balmain’s combined impact on fashion and greater culture. This collaboration also marks Barbie's first debut in the digital art world, with three one-of-a-kind NFTs of Barbie and Ken avatars.
The avatars are styled on complete looks from Balmain's designs and are each accompanied by a one-of-a-kind bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces, creating a unique digital and physical art collection. The NFTs will be available for purchase from 11 January, through Mattel Creations via an online auction hosted on mintNFT. Mattel Creations is an eCommerce platform that was launched in 2020, and it connects Barbie with a network of global makers to produce limited-edition creations where toys are a canvas for art, and art is inspired by toys. With the rapid expansion of the metaverse, Mattel Creations has become especially resonant in the virtual space and is an exciting new platform for digital art deliveries, said the company.
Whereas on the collection front, Balmain's creative director, Olivier Rousteing said the collaboration was building upon the New French Style of the house's recent collections. According to Rousteing, the collection also rejects any arbitrary gender limitations. In fact, Rousteing's established aesthetic and opulence are reflected in the collection, as the designer attempts to filter these aspects through a Barbie lens. From 1990’s-era Barbie logo to a “Barbie pink” Pantone to Barbie’s iconic packaging, the 50 piece collection intertwines the toy’s signatures with the label’s hallmarks, like its marinière and Labyrinth patterns.
Furthermore, to mark the partnership, Barbie and Balmain have also launched a digital campaign, which depicts the ready-to-wear and accessories collection on Barbie avatars. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Mattel for additional information regarding the collaboration.
“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. “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," added Dickson.
This is not the first time a fashion label has collaborated with Barbie. In July last year, Love, Bonito partnered with Mattel to offer a limited-edition collection of Barbies for select markets in Asia including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong and Indonesia. Titled “Dream It, Do It!”, the collaboration aimed to inspire young girls and women to believe in themselves and be empowered to pursue their limitless potential. For the collection, the brand worked closely with Barbie to curate the body types – petite, curvy, original and small bust.
While on the topic of inspiring women, Mattel unveiled three new role models to Barbie’s Inspiring Women collection in March 2020. Paying tribute to all the courageous women who paved the way for generations of girls, Barbie added jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, tennis pro Billie Jean King and nurse Florence Nightingale.
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