Teased in Instagram and eagerly anticipated by collectors, the Barbie Tribute Collection Vera Wang doll is released by Mattel. I think it is great that, not only do we get a doll that actually looks like the designer it is honouring, we get one that is not another blonde caucasian iteration of the usual Barbie iterations. Plus, Vera Wang is a great designer, with a long history, much respected in her profession and beyond. She has a long history with Mattel, with various dolls wearing her bridal gowns released through the years and becoming highly sought after collectibles.
The doll is designed by Carlyle Nuyera and is a Signature Collection Barbie, now available on the Mattel Creations website for $40.00 - 5 dolls per user allowed.
I simply love this doll. She is beautifully made, with the very particular style and look of Ms. Wang, without any concession to Mattel usual tropes (maybe save some plastic accessories). The price point is great for a doll like this and I would very much like to add her to my collection. Hope she appears on European shops, real or digital, really soon! Can we get more dolls like this please Mattel?
The description on the Mattel Signature website says:
The Barbie Tribute Collection celebrates visionaries whose incredible contributions have helped shape and impact culture. Inspired by a look from her 2017 ready-to-wear collection, Vera Wang Barbie Doll wears a monochromatic ensemble featuring a black romper under a chiffon dress with attached puff sleeves, a front slit, and the word LOVE featured at the hem. A peplum belt with a zipper detail, black socks, and platform heels with sculpted buckle details complete her look.
Release date: 5/5/2022
Designer: Carlyle Nuera
Facial Sculpt: Vera Wang
Body Type: Articulated Original
Mattel Creations Exclusive. Limit 5 per person. Color and decorations may vary.
The story of the project from the MC website:
She's an iconic designer and businesswoman who grew her brand from a small bridal boutique into a fashion and lifestyle empire. She's earned numerous awards for her powerful contributions to the fashion industry – including the Legion of Honor from France – a testament to her enduring creativity and the lasting imprint she's made on fashion and culture. She's Vera Wang, the latest powerhouse to join the Barbie Tribute Collection, and as a Mattel Creations Exclusive!
The Barbie Tribute Collection celebrates visionaries whose incredible contributions have helped shape and impact our culture. Lucille Ball was our first honouree, and now we're adding Wang, the entrepreneur and globally renowned fashion designer. And her influence extends far beyond fashion according to Barbie Signature Lead Designer Carlyle Nuera, who headed up the team that brought this doll to Mattel Creations today.
"As an Asian-American designer myself, Vera having a fashion and business empire that has spanned decades is inspirational," Carlyle says. "She’s a global household name, which I feel is so important for representation, for Asian-Americans who want to pursue a career in the arts or design. Or who need to convince their nervous parents that this is actually a viable career path!"
So when the opportunity arrived to create a doll in Wang's likeness, Carlyle jumped at the chance. "We’ve done Barbie dolls wearing Vera Wang’s designs in the past: an evening gown in 1998, and bridal gowns in 1997, 2008, and 2011," he recalls. "This is the first time we’re doing a Barbie doll of Vera herself, and decades later. It’s full circle! I think that in itself shows the scope of Vera’s career and staying power as a fashion designer."
Wang's career as one of the most prominent and iconic designers of bridal wear began with the opening of her flagship salon in New York City in 1990. But her influence was never destined to stop there. In 2000, she launched her first ready-to-wear collection, and that's where the Vera Wang Barbie Doll gets its fashion inspiration. Drawing on a look from her 2017 runway show, our doll wears a monochromatic ensemble featuring a black romper under a chiffon dress with attached puff sleeves, a front slit, and the word "LOVE" featured at the hem. "Vera added the word ‘LOVE’ in a Gothic script to the hem of the dress, which I think reflects the positivity Vera herself always expresses on social media," Carlyle explains.
Recreating the couture outfit did come with its challenges, but our team rose to the occasion with creative solutions. Carlyle shed a bit a bit of light on one in particular: "Because the outfit is made of three separate pieces – the shorts romper, chiffon dress, and peplum belt – the patternmakers had to engineer each piece to lay correctly under each piece so it wouldn’t look bulky."
That peplum belt with the zipper detail, along with the black socks and platform heels with sculpted buckle details, complete the presentation. "I added some black nail polish to finish the look. It's all the same as the runway look, down to the socks worn with the buckle heels," Carlyle says. The doll is also sculpted to Vera Wang's likeness and features her signature long, straight hair.
If you like to remove your dolls from the doll box, you'll have endless posing possibilities with the Vera Wang Barbie Doll, which was created with the Articulated Original doll body and comes with a doll stand. If you prefer her in the box, you'll still have a beautiful addition to your doll display, thanks to Packaging Designer Sarah Pata. And if you're collecting all the dolls in the Tribute Collection, Sarah has some fun news for you.
"We knew we needed a package design that felt cohesive but could also be 'adaptable' for any future dolls," Sarah says. "Knowing this, we decided to use a consistent package shape for all the dolls in the line, to help unify the collection. This also allowed us the flexibility to modify the package color and artwork to better match each new doll."
Our Barbie Tribute Collection Vera Wang Barbie Doll is available now in the online shop, and remember, she's a Mattel Creations exclusive! This Black Label doll sells for $40, and the limit of 5 dolls per person lets you shop for yourself and for gift-giving opportunities, too. So click or tap on over the Barbie Signature shop and pick up yours today.
All photos and information (except the runway one) are courtesy of Mattel Creations.