BARBIE BERLIN: Leyla Piedayesh, the founder and power behind Berlin fashion label Lala Berlin, is known to be a mover and shaker, but not necessarily a living doll – until now, that is. As part of this year’s Barbie Shero lineup honoring 17 contemporary and historical women role models around the world, Piedayesh is the first German to have a Barbie created in her own likeness.
Born in Tehran, the long-term Berlin resident and maker of edgy knit-centric apparel joins Shero current honorees U.S. filmmaker Patty Jenkins, Asian-American snowboarding gold medalist Chloe Kim, Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin, U.K. boxing champion Nicola Adams, Turkish windsurfer Çağla Kubat, French Michelin star chef Hélène Darroze, Chinese volleyballer Hui Ruoqi, Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska, Italian soccer player and captain Sara Gama, Chinese actress and philanthropist Xiaotong Guan, Chinese prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan and Spanish fashion entrepreneur Vicky Martin Berrocal, as well as history’s high-flying Amelia Earhart, artist and activist Frida Kahlo and mathematical pioneer Katherine Johnson.
Piedayesh will receive her yellow pants-suited and very Lala scarfed Shero Barbie at an exclusive dinner in Berlin tonight. “Growing up in Tehran, Barbie was a very precious thing — brought home by my father from his business trips overseas,” she recalled. “I loved playing with them and I was fascinated by the fashion as well. A friend of my mother sewed different outfits for my Barbies, and this was actually one of my first touch points with the world of fashion. And to be honest, I was also very jealous of my brother because he received a Ken doll in a safari outfit from a relative of ours.”