(13 Nov 2018) ICONIC BARBIE FASHION COMES ALIVE IN VINTAGE COLLABORATION
Barbie has a new collaborator bringing her wide-ranging style to life for humans.
One of the largest sellers of vintage-inspired fashion, Unique Vintage, is working with Barbie parent Mattel on the first women's line to meticulously duplicate some of the doll's most iconic early looks. In the process, the company also has taken care of the one thing critics love to hate about Barbie –
her slender physique – by offering the outfits in sizes XS to 4X.
The collaboration, Barbie x Unique Vintage, celebrates 1950s and '60s Babs. The company that sells online and in about 500 boutiques around the world plans to go even bigger for Barbie's 60th birthday next year, offering key fashion moments across the rest of her decades.
We caught up with all things Barbie x Unique Village in the swanky Jewel Suite designed by jeweler to the stars Martin Katz in the Lotte New York Palace hotel along Madison Avenue.
Katz paired a few of the looks with some of his hand-picked bling, from $36,000 button earrings in a rainbow of sapphires, garnets and tourmaline to a $48,000 cocktail ring of Bombay spinel cabochons and round diamonds.
All of the glam pleases Katie Echeverry. She's the founder, CEO and creative director of Unique Vintage, an 18-year-old company with 60 employees based in Burbank, California.
With her long blonde locks and Barbie-esque dimensions, Echeverry said she was a Babs fan as a girl but also a "tomboy" who loved to play softball.
Noteworthy is Echeverry's most definitely un-Barbie upper arm tattoo that popped in the Kelly green shawl dress the doll wore in 1962, done by Unique Vintage in a forgiving stretch fabric, during a recent round of media interviews as she explained how the collab came about.
"When I emailed Mattel, I didn't think they'd actually reply back, but they did, and I was thrilled," Echeverry told The Associated Press. "They ran with it. I couldn't believe they hadn't done it before."
Echeverry worked closely with Mattel but "they didn't dictate what I chose." Mattel opened its archives to her as she went about duplicating outfits, with adjustments to account for the human form. She chose looks that "spoke to me."
Barbie, the doll, first hit store shelves in 1959. That year, she stepped out in a swirl of gold and white brocade for evening. The dress was among those Echeverry duplicated and sells for $118 on uniquevintage.com. The matching collar coat with three-quarter sleeves trimmed in faux fur goes for $148.
Echeverry's first Barbie go-around dropped in the spring. Social media fans of vintage and of Barbie took notice and sales have been brisk, she said. For fall, her prices range from $88 for an A-shaped Barbie flare skirt in green with a white hem to $198 for the doll's red matinee sleeveless sheath dress and short jacket trimmed with calico-colored faux fur.
It was important to Echeverry to choose looks that remain iconic but were wearable by women in the broad range of sizes she is committed to providing.
"I was like a kid in a candy store," she said. After the first season went on sale, Echeverry watched the response online, where nostalgia kicked in among fans who recalled favorite outfits.
That goes a long way in explaining why she was more than a little dedicated to getting the clothes right.
She was also dedicated to the price points she knows her buyers are after.
"This is so glamorous. It's so much fun. The view's incredible," she said.
Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork
You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/49503f8ba31a290273cacc0a72c48105