Mattel, Inc. has just announced the launch of a partnership between Barbie & French luxury fashion label, Balmain. Developed as a celebration of both Barbie and Balmain’s combined impact on fashion and greater culture, the two brands are launching a new global ready-to-wear fashion and accessories collection.
The venture also marks the first time Barbie is entering into the digital art world. Together, they are dropping three one-of-a-kind NFTs of distinctive Barbie and Ken avatars. Styled in complete looks from Balmain’s designs, each is accompanied by a one-of-a-kind bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces, creating a unique digital & physical art collection.
These Barbie x Balmain NFTs will be available exclusively through Mattel Creations, via an online auction hosted on mintNFT, guaranteeing buyers a unique place in fashion history as it moves into the virtual realm.
Barbie, with over 62 years of history, is a globally recognized influence and arbiter in the worlds of fashion and pop culture, creating an intersection between the brand, art and collectability. In 2020, Mattel launched Mattel Creations, an e-commerce platform that connects Barbie — and Mattel’s iconic catalogue of IP — with a network of global makers to produce limited-edition creations where toys are a canvas for art, and art is inspired by toys. With the rapid expansion of the metaverse, Mattel Creations has become especially resonant in the virtual space, and is an exciting new platform for digital art deliveries.
“Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries. As a fashion house committed to innovation in unexpected and joyous ways, Balmain, under Olivier Rousteing’s creative direction, is the perfect partner to translate the iconography that is unique to Barbie into a modern iteration of digital art and physical fashion.”says Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mattel
The Barbie x Balmain ready-to-wear and accessories line takes the established aesthetic and opulence that Rousteing has so successfully built up over the past decade and filters it through a Barbie lens. From a nostalgic 1990’s-era Barbie logo to a “Barbie pink” Pantone to Barbie’s iconic packaging, Rousteing and the Balmain teams’ 50+ piece collection intertwines the toy’s signatures with the label’s hallmarks, like its marinière and Labyrinth patterns. Barbie and Balmain share a penchant for bright, optimistic iconography, and here, they come together in a balanced and wearable homage to the ebullient legacies of both.
“As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure, 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. For, just as today’s Barbie makes clear, there’s nothing holding us back anymore!”notes Olivier Rousteing Creative Director Balmain
To mark the partnership, Barbie and Balmain have a launched digital campaign, which depicts the ready-to-wear and accessories collection on Barbie avatars. The promotion was conceptualized and styled by Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall and photographed by Norbert Schoerner.
For more information on the Barbie x Balmain collaboration and to join the Barbie x Balmain MintNFT fireside chat on 1/11, please visit NFT.MattelCreations.com. The Barbie x Balmain ready-to-wear and accessories line will be available for purchase at Balmain stores, balmain.com, Mattel Creations and retailers worldwide beginning January 13th.
Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain, and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, UNO® and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.
More than 75 years ago, when Pierre Balmain first introduced his “New French Style,” it immediately became clear to all that his eponymous house was offering a distinctly fresh, bold and feminine conception of haute couture, one which broke with many of the well-established conventions of the era. His audaciousness paid off. Pierre Balmain became one of the handful of young French talents who ushered in the mid-century’s golden age of couture and helped to re-establish Paris as the world’s fashion capital.
For more than ten years, Balmain’s Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing, has been inventively building upon Pierre Balmain’s extraordinary legacy, while always remaining true to his own determination to design clothes that reflect the way his inclusive, powerful and global Balmain Army wishes to live today. The result is a unique and instantly recognizable Balmain silhouette, style and attitude that highlights the singular craftsmanship of the house’s celebrated ateliers, while consistently referencing a rich Parisian heritage.
mintNFT is a premium studio & marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that makes collecting NFTs simple, safe and social. The company is focused on delivering an unprecedented experience for users with unique features such as exclusive digital events, a new patent-pending authentication process for NFTs, and incorporating a social score to each NFT. The interactive and gamified platform includes a secondary marketplace that allows users to buy, sell, and trade NFTs.