𝑩𝒂𝒓𝒃𝒊𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒇𝒂𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒅𝒐𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒘𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒚, 𝑴𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒍 𝑰𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑳𝒂𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 1959, 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒐𝒅𝒂𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒈𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑴𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒍 𝒅𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒖𝒔𝒕-𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒔.
In 1945, a young couple named Ruth and Elliot began a toy company with their friend, Harold Matson. They chose the name Mattel (Mat and Ell) as their brand. Elliot's creativity steered Mattel in launching a full line of toys and making a huge business. On the other hand, Ruth had a dream to create her own real-life fashion doll, which coincided with the German Bild Lilli (a doll that had an available wardrobe of the 1950s outfits).
Four years later, the first Barbie was ready for her debut. She wore a zebra striped swimsuit with a topknot ponytail. She was unveiled in both blonde and brunette at the New York Toy Fair with 22 different outfits and accessories.
Even though she was marketed as Teen-age Fashion Model Doll, only half of the customers were interested. Mattel began receiving tons of orders only after Ruth Handler completed a good purchase of commercial time on The Mickey Mouse Club next.
Charlotte Johnson was the first-ever fashion designer for doll dresses. The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by the Japanese.
It takes a good number of top fashion designers, makeup artists and the most elite couturiers to get a Barbie doll ready. Over the years, brands like Gucci, Versace, Vera Wang, Dolce & Gabana, and Givenchy have all contributed designs to Barbie’s wardrobe.
One thing that has always been highly appreciated is that Barbie has been fur-free for her entire history. Bravo!
Around 350, 000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production.
In 2005, Barbie sales dropped by 30% in the United States and by 18% globally, owing to the popularity of a rival, Bratz dolls. Mattel made its comeback with a trail of accusations of stealing trade secrets and a couple of other lawsuits following behind.
The best-selling Barbie doll ever was the Totally Hair doll (with hair from the top of her head to her toes). The costliest one, however, was designed in partnership with Stefano Canturi to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and was sold for $ 302 500 at an auction in 2010.
Not only is Barbie the most popular fashion doll ever produced, but the brand continues to dominate sales in its segment. Barbie dolls are currently sold in 150 countries and Mattel claims that 3 Barbie dolls are sold per second! Bettina Dorfmann holds the Guinness Book of World Records for having the biggest Barbie collection in the world. She has been collecting them since 1993 and owns 15 000 different kinds.
More than 100 million yards of fabric have been devoted to Barbie clothes, making Mattel one the biggest garment manufacturers in the world! Since 2011, the brand has consistently produced worldwide annual gross sales exceeding $1 billion.
𝑩𝒂𝒓𝒃𝒊𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑲𝒆𝒏
Ken was introduced in 1961. He is two years and two days younger than Barbie.
Even though Mattel introduced bridal editions of Barbie, she is said to have never been married!
Things between Barbie and boyfriend, Ken, flickered in 2004, causing them to have a break-up (after 43 years together). Barbie then had a 2-year fling with Blaine, an Australian surfer. In 2011, she got back together with Ken on Valentine's Day. Mattel announced the news on Barbie's Facebook.