TORONTO — Fans looking for a Barbie blast from the past are in luck this month, as Mattel’s Barbie Totally Hair doll celebrates its 30th anniversary with the rollout Wednesday of a ’90s-flavored fashion and accessories collection created by Canadian unisex streetwear label Cakeworthy.
Debuting in 1992 and recognized as Barbie’s bestselling doll of all time, the original doll was marketed as the longest haired Barbie and came with accompanying styling gel. Thanks to that unique presentation, 10 million units of the Barbie Totally Hair doll were sold in the three years after the product hit store shelves.
The 15-piece offering designed by Cakeworthy includes a custom denim jacket featuring Barbie Totally Hair, as well as a Barbie bag inspired by the iconic Barbie box packaging of that era.
Cakeworthy’s own staples in the collection, which feature the AOP T-shirt, denim jacket and flannels, were also created using various shades of pink, purple and neons that were signatures of the Barbie Totally Hair color palette.
“The Barbie x Cakeworthy collaboration has been in development for almost a year but has been a dream collab of ours since the beginning,” said Cakeworthy chief executive officer Brandon Shedden, who began his Hamilton, Ontario-based company in 2014 by selling screen-printed T-shirts on Etsy. Since then the designer has collaborated with some of the world’s top licensors to create bold, colorful, special edition collections inspired by pop culture of the past.
That reputation resonated with Barbie VIPs, according to Jennifer Gileno, head of licensing at Mattel Canada.
“Our goal was to capture a fun, playful and nostalgic period when it was all about big hair and big dreams,” Gileno told WWD. “Barbie has always been a reflection of the times and setting fashion trends. Cakeworthy’s overall passion and love for Barbie, and their ability to translate this into an apparel and accessories collection brings fans back to the ’90s in the most fun way possible.”
This venture also produced the first Barbie “unisex” collection for the Canadian market, according to Gileno.
“We are so proud to be able to partner and offer all Barbie fans, no matter how they identify, a way to express themselves through fashion,” said Gileno, who hints at more Barbie projects to come down in the future.
For the moment, however, fans can shop this collection priced between $6.95 and $109.95 at Cakeworthy’s e-commerce page, cakeworthy.com. Prices on the website are in U.S. dollars.
The collection is also available at Cakeworthy’s bricks-and-mortar flagship in Hamilton, Ontario.
Yet beyond inclusivity, an equally appealing factor according to Shedden is offering consumers a welcome opportunity to reminisce about their youth.
“Fashion has a distinct way of bringing back memories and allowing us to express ourselves in different ways,” said Shedden. “Nostalgia just makes you feel good, and feeling good in what you wear is the ultimate goal, isn’t it?”