Luxury French fashion house Balmain has released the first look at its multifaceted collaboration with Barbie. And at the center of the intentionally inclusive campaign are Black models and dolls, albeit only in the metaverse.
The new collection features 50 high-end, ready-to-wear pieces and accessories that reimagine Balmain designs by marrying them to the Barbie aesthetic, including lots of fun, pink looks, Hypebeast reports. In addition, Balmain x Barbie includes three NFTs featuring a multi-cultural cast of avatars showcasing the unisex collections.
The fashion house previewed the collaboration by releasing photos of the NFTs, which will be auctioned off on Jan. 11 via the Mattel Creations website. The apparel is set to hit stores two days later.
“As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure,” declared Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s creative director. “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.”
The Balmain x Barbie partnership is both the first surprise fashion collaboration of the year and also marks the iconic doll’s first foray into the NFT world.
According to the New York Times, while this collaboration does not include a physical doll, it cements the existence of an ever-expanding world of possible partnerships between toys and the fashion industry.
“When you combine the seriousness of high fashion with the fun of toys, it’s very powerful,” says Mattel’s president and chief operating officer Richard Dickson.
He adds that he believes toys have the potential to be credible fashion accessories just like perfume and handbags.