... is Barbie.
For some time now, there has been a “black out” of models of color on the runways. First Lady Michelle Obama has shined new light on the black out by not wearing the names of the designers who do not show diversity in their shows. I am not sure if it is deliberate on her behalf, but that is the way it is playing out. The First Lady had particular taste before going to the White House and she is staying true to that. Cool with me.
Dressing the First Lady is the dream of any fashion designer. However, Mrs. Obama’s use of Chicago designers and American retailers such as J. Crew, and Black House White Market, have left many in the high fashion industry on the side lines, wanting to be in (hey Calvin and Prada). To date, every J. Crew item that Mrs. Obama, Sasha and Malia has worn – sold out instantly.
For years now, top designers have staged hundreds of shows in New York and Milan, which were/are totally without models of color. Black models have been constantly left out of lucrative advertisements, makeup contracts (unless you are Beyonce, Rihanna or Queen Latifah, all of whom are NOT models) and overlooked for editorials and runways.
In an effort to send a message about the beauty of diversity in fashion, in July of 2008, Vogue Italia conceived the first Black Issue with top black models in starring roles, including Iman, Naomi Campbell and the new It Girl, 19 year old Jourdan Dunn. I ran right out and put my twenty on this once in a life time “Black Edition”.
This year, it is “Black Barbie” that has landed a starring role in Vogue Italia. We will be picking up the "Black Barbie" issue as soon as it drops.
Maybe now Little One can get her "B" to give me mine back...
A little history: The first black doll from Barbie was introduced in 1967, as a friend of Barbie called Francie, followed by the first "Black Barbie" doll, introduced in 1980.
This autumn will bring the launch of a collection of black Barbie dolls, called the So In Style dolls; which have been designed with more authentic-looking black features, including a new facial sculpt that has fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair.
Little One and her "B" are uber excited to see the new So In Style Barbie dolls. The So In Style dolls will be available early next year. Little One can look, but unless somebody gets her one for a gift - she won't be getting one. Besides, we have already made a neat little investment in this and all it's trappings...
... she is gonna to need to play with this until she is at least sixteen and then pack it away and save it for my grandchild.