I don’t think I would have been allowed to have one of these Barbies either. Actually, I kind of don’t get this. The designer doesn’t say that she made them so that little mixed girls will have a doll that more accurately represents their background. She says it’s for African-American girls (which is weird because this is in the UK), so how are these different from the black barbies that have been around for years? Is it that they’re wearing Rocawear, which we can assume white Barbie either knows nothing about, or wouldn’t be caught dead in? Is it that African-American girls have career aspirations that include having Jay Z as their boss? Ok, clearly I don’t just kind of not get it, I don’t get it at all.
First collection of mixed race Barbie dolls hits the UK
The ‘So In Style’ dolls designed by African American mum debut today in Selfridges
It seems Barbie has some new friends to add to her circle and they come in the shape of four mixed race girls named Jayla, Kara, Trichelle and Chandra. The first of their kind in a sea of fair skinned Barbie dolls, the four ‘So In Style’ girls were unveiled today as part of a cultural Barbie retrospective at the Wonder Room concept store within Selfridges.
Adding to the Wonder Room’s repertoire of all things contemporary and interesting, the mixed race dolls, designed by Barbie designer Stacey McBride-Irby, feature as part of an exhibition to celebrate 40 years of black Barbie history.
Unveiled by brand consultant and founder of WAH-Nails Sharmadean Reid, the authentic looking dolls stand alongside vintage black Barbies as well as 12 larger than life dolls. The woman behind the creation of the ‘So In Style’ girls, who are decked out in Jay Z’s Rocawear clothing, says her inspiration behind the range was her daughter and her own heritage.
“As a Barbie doll designer for more than 10 years, I want African-American girls to know that dolls can represent their career aspirations, hobbies and ethnic backgrounds. Barbie inspired me to realise my dream of becoming a designer, and I want my dolls to inspire girls to play, create and live out their dreams,” explains Stacey.
The dolls are available in Selfridges (link) from today and cost £25.