The venture also marks the first time Barbie is entering the digital art world. The two entities are dropping three one-of-a-kind NFTs of Barbie and Ken avatars. Styled in complete looks from Balmain’s designs, each is accompanied by a bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces, creating a unique digital and physical art collection.
The Barbie x Balmain NFTs will be available exclusively through Mattel Creations, via an online auction hosted on mintNFT, offering buyers a unique place in fashion history as it moves into the virtual realm.
In 2020, Mattel launched Mattel Creations, an e-commerce platform that connects Barbie – and Mattel’s iconic catalogue of IP – with a network of global makers toproduce 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 more present in the virtual space as a platform for digital art deliveries.
“Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries,” says Richard Dickson, president,chief operating officer, 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.”
The Barbie x Balmain line takes the established aesthetic that Rousteing has built up over the past decade and filters it through a Barbie lens. From a nostalgic ‘90s-era Barbie logo to a “Barbie pink” Pantone and Barbie’s iconic packaging, Rousteing and the Balmain team’s planned more than 50 pieces in the collection to intertwine the toys’ signatures with the label’s hallmarks, like its marinière and Labyrinth patterns.
“As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure,” says Rousteing. “For this collaboration, we are building upon the New French Style of Balmain’s most recent collections, once again showing that Balmain is inspired by the truly diverse and exciting beauty found on today’s Parisian boulevards and avenues. This collection also rejects any arbitrary gender limitations – this is an almost 100% unisex collection. For, just as today’s Barbie makes clear, there's nothing holding us back anymore!”
To mark the partnership, Barbie and Balmain have launched a digital campaign depicting the ready-to-wear and accessories on Barbie avatars.
The Barbie x Balmain line will be available for purchase at Balmain stores,Balmain.com
, Mattel Creations and retailers worldwide beginning Jan. 13.
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