NEW YORK — Patricia Field turned her shop here into a Barbie dream house Tuesday night to showcase her new Barbie-inspired clothing and accessories line with Mattel Brands.
The collection, aimed at teens through Baby Boomer women who remember the iconic doll from their youth, is hitting stores, including Macy's, which is carrying the Barbie Luxe line exclusively. That's a separate product line from the Barbie Wear by Patricia Field collection in Hot Topic stores, Barbie signature stores in Japan and Field's Manhattan shop.
"I was never a doll kid — it took me to my adulthood to dress the real dolls," said Field, who is working on the "Sex and the City" movie. "But I love Barbie as an inspiration — it's uplifting and it's pop — components I am drawn to. It was something I hadn't done before. I look for variation in work to keep myself inspired."
Although more than 60 designers, including Anna Sui, have designed life-size, Barbie-inspired clothes, this is the first full adult apparel collection, according to Mattel. In the spring, Barbie teamed with MAC Cosmetics for a cosmetics collection, Barbie Loves MAC.
"There isn't another toy, let alone doll, that could engage the fashion industry like this," said Richard Dickson, senior vice president of marketing, media and entertainment, worldwide, for Mattel Brands, the manufacturer of the 48-year-old doll. "The brand is really for girls of all ages, giving us the opportunity to involve women who grew up with Barbie and want to reengage in a relevant way — and the best way to do that is to work with cultural icons now like Pat Field, the preeminent stylist in the world."
The line includes T-shirts and hoodies that use the Barbie logo or Barbie-inspired expressions such as "I want my dream house." The dresses — in black satin, leopard print and prints used in Barbie clothes from the Seventies dolls — are as much Field as Barbie. Field's favorite bag is in black patent fake croc with a gold logo of a vintage Barbie profile surrounded by Cadillac-esque laurel leaves.
The Macy's line, launching in 20 to 30 doors, retails from $58 to $200, and Hot Topic's offerings of T-shirts and accessories retail for $4 to $45. Mattel declined to estimate volume."It's this type of product that generates impulse buys because it is linked to whimsy and nostalgia," said Nicole Fischelis, vice president and fashion director of women's at Macy's. "It's irresistible because it's 'Sex and the City' revisited à la Barbie."
After hosting her own party this week — with bartenders reminiscent of Ken dolls and a spread of pink, sweet nibble food — Field will appear on Dec. 6 at Macy's Herald Square to promote the line. A spunky, red-haired Patricia Field Barbie doll line is in the works for fall 2008.
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