Balmain links with Barbie for RTW collection and NFTs
Balmain is the latest fashion label to link with iconic doll Barbie, but this new partnership is different from many of the Barbie designer label link-ups that have gone before.
Barbie owner Mattel is calling it “a dynamic, unprecedented” deal as the two brands launch a new global ready-to-wear fashion and accessories collection and also debut in the NFT space.
The Barbie x Balmain RTW and accessories line will be launched at Balmain stores, at its webstore, via Mattel Creations and at retailers worldwide from January 13.
It takes the “established aesthetic and opulence” that Balmain creative chief Olivier Rousteing has built up over the past decade “and filters it through a Barbie lens”, we’re told. From a nostalgic 1990s-era Barbie logo to a ‘Barbie pink’ Pantone and Barbie’s packaging, the more-than-50-piece collection “intertwines the toy’s signatures with the label’s hallmarks, like its marinière and Labyrinth patterns”.
It also marks the first time Barbie is entering the digital art world as the partners are dropping three “one-of-a-kind NFTs of distinctive Barbie and Ken avatars". They’ve been styled in complete looks from Balmain’s designs, with each accompanied by a “one-of-a-kind bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces, creating a unique digital and physical art collection”.
They’ll be available exclusively through Mattel Creations, via an online auction hosted on mintNFT.
Mattel Creations was only launched by the toy giant in 2020 as an e-commerce platform “that connects Barbie — and Mattel’s iconic catalogue of IP — with a network of global makers to produce limited-edition creations where toys are a canvas for art, and art is inspired by toys”.
Despite the Barbie link, Rousteing also said the collection “rejects any arbitrary gender limitations” and is “almost 100% unisex”.
The launch also comes with a digital campaign that depicts the ready-to-wear and accessories collection on Barbie avatars. This was “conceptualised and styled” by Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall and photographed by Norbert Schoerner.
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