WHAT A DOLL: In honor of its 35th anniversary, American Girl has partnered with Harlem’s Fashion Row to stage a fashion show in New York later next month.
The event will be held Sept. 23 at American Girl Place in the heart of Midtown. The toy company is known for offering an inclusive range of dolls with different ethnicities and a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles, personal stories and accessories.
As an agency that creates a bridge between brands and designers of color, Harlem’s Fashion Row works to initiate and implement collaborations, new media, experiential marketing, recruiting and pipeline programs.
For the upcoming show at Rockefeller Plaza, designers Carly Cushnie, Nichole Lynel, Kristian Lorén and Samantha Black will be reimagining looks for girls and dolls. They will rework styles for American Girl’s original six characters and offer bold styles that are meant to relay the unlimited potential of today’s girls.
Far from child’s play, connecting with the Mattel-owned American Girl will broaden Harlem’s Fashion Row’s reach. More than 157 million American Girl books and 32 million-plus American Girl dolls have been sold since 1986. The company’s retail outposts have seen more than 94 million visitors through the years and the brand’s site attracts upward of 45 million visitors annually, with its social channels reaching upward of two million people.
In a sign of what is becoming increasingly more common with large fashion-related events, attendees will need to provide proof of full-course vaccination when they RSVP in order to enter the venue. Organizers noted that is in adherence with state law. In addition, guests who are under the age of 12 will need to provide proof of a negative antigen test taken within six hours before their arrival or a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
American Doll’s commitment to diversity has rankled conservatives at times. In February, the advocacy group One Million Moms called for a boycott of the company, due to its 2021 Girl of the Year doll that was named for Kira Bailey of Michigan. The 10-year-old has two lesbian great aunts, who wed in Australia in 2017.