Love, Bonito dresses Barbie to inspire young girls with limited-edition collection

Love, Bonito has 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 aims 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. Each doll comes with a Barbie-sized apparel assortment based off Love, Bonito’s The Staples collection, and is available upon purchase of the Love, Bonito X Barbie t-shirt as part of a SG$150 minimum spend in a single order. Through the collection and t-shirts, Love, Bonito aims to connect with young women across Asia and encourage them to have the confidence to follow their dreams. Love, Bonito is currently working with Ogilvy Singapore for PR efforts around the Mattel partnership.

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Love, Bonito’s CEO, Dione Song, told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it chose to partner with Mattel as Barbie’s 62-year brand legacy has been known for championing female causes, and is very much aligned with Love, Bonito’s desire to empower the everyday Asian women. She also said that it is glad to be able to collaborate with Barbie to create a collection of dolls which represent the Love, Bonito women. “She is a multifaceted multi-tasker, always on the go, wears many hats and plays many roles,” Song added. Song was appointed Love, Bonito's first CEO in the company's 11-year history.

Love, Bonito plans to promote the collection through a live session on its Instagram page on 18 July. Co-founder Rachel Lim will go live with global influencers Chriselle Lim, co-founder of Bumo from the US; Grace Chan, actress, TV host and co-founder of Snow Queen HK from Hong Kong; as well as Marion Caunter, founder of Hairplay from Malaysia.

The session’s objective is to share more about the collaboration, as well as harness the lived experience of the strong ladies to share more about the various seasons of their lives, to inspire the young girls and women tuning in to believe in themselves and be empowered to pursue their dreams, added Song.

Mattel Continental Asia’s marketing manager, Ho Shu Ting, said: “The Barbie 62-year brand legacy has been known for championing female causes and the partnership with Love, Bonito further strengthens our voice in getting girls to continue believing in themselves. Our hopes of removing barriers that prevent girls from reaching their potential is an ongoing one and only with like-minded brands can we continue to expand this cause worldwide.”

This partnership also marks the initiation of its social impact arm, LBCreate, which aims to bring women’s issues to the forefront and create actionable steps for the future. Since the brand’s establishment, it has collaborated with AWARE and Daughters to Tomorrow to inspire confidence in women and support them when needed.

Song also told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that LBCreate is the formalisation of the “good work that it has been doing as a brand and its commitment to continue doing so”. With the launch of LBCreate, the brand will have a dedicated arm that focuses on the growth and development of girls and women who face many ongoing challenges, either within themselves or when facing external pressures. The focus for the social impact programme will be on future-proofing women in society and at the workplace, addressing the multitude of health and wellness issues as well as women's rights.

Each year, Love, Bonito will be partnering with an organisation in line with the above-mentioned focus to support the organisation’s efforts through funding, shared connections and raising awareness on the issue at hand. 

Song explained: “LBCreate was launched in early July and it is heartwarming to see the many positive feedback from our community in support of this initiative. Discussions are underway for future initiatives and we will be able to share more when plans are firmed up.”

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Aside from the Barbie initiative, the fashion brand is funding about USD30,000 to the education of 100 girls in low-income communities in Asia for a year through Room to Read Girls’ Education Programme. This will help the girls stay in high school for a year, helping them build skills to succeed in school and negotiate key life decisions

The move comes in response to a report by The World Bank which forecasted lower levels of schooling, learning and future earnings because of school closures in low-income economies. Moreover, UNESCO projected that 11 million girls might not return to school due to COVID-19’s unprecedented education disruption. 

“Love, Bonito’s investment will ensure that education endures during a particularly critical time for girls at risk of dropping out of school across Asia,” said Laurie McMahon, Room to Read’s chief development and communications officer.

Separately, the brand is currently on the hunt for its first venture lead as it expands into a new vertical. The individual will lead the launch squad and collaborate closely with cross-functional stakeholders and Love, Bonito's senior leadership to set the strategy, design the go-to-market and implement the roll-out. As the company's first hire in its "incubator" LaB, he or she will be a role model and custodian of Love, Bonito's values and be an embodiment and advocate of the brand in and outside its organisation. At the same time, it also recently hired Jacqueline Lui as communications lead. She has experience on the agency side, having worked at Weber Shandwick, Edelman, and Bless Inc Asia.

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