Top Toys - Great Gifts Barbie Fashions, Video, Quiz and More

Barbie®, invented by Ruth Handler of Mattel, made a lasting impact upon the world as we know it.

What little girl in America didn't grow up with Barbie.

How many countries around the world have had their own version of Barbie? Europe, Asia and the list is endless.

This is the wonder of Barbie - she transcends all continents. All girls - little girls and little girls at heart such as myself love Barbie. It brings back fond memories for little girls at heart. For little girls, Barbie allows girls to dream - to be all that they want to be!

Barbie Dolls

beautiful close up view of Barbie's face with black background
beautiful close up view of Barbie's face with black background | Source
Barbie Plantation Belle - photo courtesy of ioffer.com
Barbie Plantation Belle - photo courtesy of ioffer.com | Source
Barbie in pink dress
Barbie in pink dress | Source
Barbie Doll from 1995 Christian Dior Evening Gown
Barbie Doll from 1995 Christian Dior Evening Gown | Source

Barbie Doll

Barbie Doll in a wedding dress
Barbie Doll in a wedding dress
Barbie Doll in Japanese Traditional Dress
Barbie Doll in Japanese Traditional Dress
Barbie Doll in Indian Traditional Dress with Gold Veil
Barbie Doll in Indian Traditional Dress with Gold Veil
Barbie Doll in gold glamor ball gown
Barbie Doll in gold glamor ball gown | Source
Barbie - Liz Taylor Cleopatra - photo courtesy of ioffer.com
Barbie - Liz Taylor Cleopatra - photo courtesy of ioffer.com
Grand Entrance - photo courtesy of collectdolls.about.com
Grand Entrance - photo courtesy of collectdolls.about.com
Pink Barbie - photo courtesy of butterboon.com
Pink Barbie - photo courtesy of butterboon.com
Barbie - photo courtesy of Amazon.com
Barbie - photo courtesy of Amazon.com
House of Barbie - a wall of Barbie Dolls in Shanghai - photo courtesy of djod.co.uk
House of Barbie - a wall of Barbie Dolls in Shanghai - photo courtesy of djod.co.uk

Dream "Be All That You Can Be"

Ruth Handler's dream of you can be anything you want to be inspired millions of girls around the globe. The fashions of Barbie were never initiated by Barbie, they were a reflection of the culture. From the United States to Asia to India, the outfits, the clothing, the apparel is simply fashion fun.

Journey with me as we explore of the designers that Barbie brought to life in miniature fashion from Donna Karan to Nicole Miller to Bob Mackie and the list goes on....Journey with me as we explore the global icon and the designers who supported our love affair with Barbie®.

5 Fashion Designer’s Influence Upon Barbie Doll Fashion:

DKNY – Donna Karan of New York

DKNY-the trademark of Donna Karan of New York, her doll was launched as a Bloomingdale’s exclusive

Bob Mackie – Great American Fashion Designer

Bob Mackie – Mackie Designer Gold Barbie®, the only Barbie® doll to be launched with a display case in 1990, #5405, (Hanlon, p. 50); Mackie was the designer for Carol Burnett and Cher

Oscar de la Renta – Great French Fashion Designer

Oscar de la Renta – 1985, first US fashion designer to design Barbie’s warbdrob.

Billy Boy

BillyBoy – firrst designer created Feelin’ Groovy

Nouveau Theater de la Mode

Nouveau Theater de la Mode –

Carol Spencer

Carol Spencer – began working for Mattel on April 29, 1963 (Hanlon, p. 45). Was best known for her “fun styles” including the miniskirt an a transparent coat.

Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson – who designed Barbie’s fashions from 1957-1980, her initials appeared on the boxes (Hanlon, p. 86), whose initials appears on the boxes in 1975 packages of Barbie Fashion Originals (Hanlon p.86). Many of Johnson’s fashions were inspired by the famous American cataloge from Sears and Roebuck. It was Charlotte’s face that Barbie is fashioned after. Charlotte was also the one who determined how Barbie’s hands should be positioned, she showed the sculptor how to position Barbie’s hands.

Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller – City Shopper Barbie® was modeled after designer Nicole Miller herself –hairstyle and color were said to be identical to Nicole Miller. City Shopper Barbie was an exclusive of Macy’s.

Mary Quant

Mary Quant “created the miniskirt in 1965, effecting a new style of dress..”p. 47

Barbie Outstanding Outfits & Other Exclusives

The Royal Splendor Barbie® includes 62,000 embroidered stitches.

Angle Lights Barbie® could be used as a Christmas treetop and as a centerpiece.

Other Fashion Worthy Notes:

A Castillo gown which appears on the cover of the Vogue Magazine in 1949 resembles the Enchanted Evening Barbie Doll.

1979 Life magazine “reflected upon twenty years of American fashion. The magazine regard Barbie® doll as the perfect fashion model to display these styles as she always wore those that were currently popular.”

First fashion designer Barbie doll wardrobe - On February 12, 1985, a special black tie event held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel New York. The event featured life-sized versions of designer Oscar de la Renta’s creations modeled by Miss America Suzette Charles, actress Rebecca Holden, Genie Francis, and Cathy Lee Crosby>

“How many Barbie® doll fashions sell each year? An estimated 20 million pieces of clothing - making Mattel the world’s largest clothing manufacturer.” P. 88

Approximately how many outfits were produced from 1959-1988? More than 6,000. P 88


Ruth Handler Quotes About Barbie®

I did not think this doll could ever be this huge.
Ruth Handler

I thought the Barbie doll would always be successful.
Ruth Handler

It took us three years to even come close to catching up with the demand a little bit.
Ruth Handler

It's the degree of success and the length of time that is amazing.
Ruth Handler

Television speeded everything up.
Ruth Handler

They were using the dolls to project their dreams of their own futures as adult women.
Ruth Handler

Through their play Barbara imagined their lives as adults. They used the dolls to reflect the adult world around them. They would sit and carry on conversations, making the dolls real people.
Ruth Handler

We didn't know how to run a business, but we had dreams and talent.
Ruth Handler


Summary Barbie® Doll Fashion

Ruth Handler like all famous inventors were told no. The toy manufacturers "knew Barbie would not sell". Everyone turned their back on Ruth Handler's dream - everyone except the little girls of the world.

Barbie is a mirror reflection of our love with fashion. Barbie is more than a collectible, Barbie is more than a doll, Barbie is representative of all of our dreams. What we wear portrays who we believe we are. Wearing a kimono doesn't make us Japanese, wearing a flight attendant uniform doesn't make us a flight attendant any more than wearing a doctor's jacket makes us a M.D., wearing and dreaming are the first steps to becoming.

Barbie Doll Trivia

Barbie Books on Amazon

Barbie 50th Anniversary - Marilyn Monroe, Lucy Ball

Barbie Doll Fashion Quiz - Check Your Designer Saavy

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© 2010 Kelly Kline Burnett

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Comments 6 comments

H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 6 years ago from Lone Star State

Barbie is certainly a busy girl-been everywhere, seen everything. Thanks for the memories :)

hc porter


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

Dear H. C.,

You are right - everything and everywhere - thank you stopping by! It does bring back memories.


pastella13 6 years ago

I used to love Barbie. Do you remember Sindy too. I used to have a wardrobe full of clothes for them, and my favourite was a turquoise and black cocktail dress.I wish I still had them.


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

Dear Pastella13,

I tried to find Sindy - very difficult to locate. No, quite frankly I don't remember Sindy. I will have to do more research. I found one photo - but it was copyrighted.

I added the eBay search for Sindy - still not much - but more than nothing.

Thank you for sharing and stopping by. Yes, isn't it funny how we remember the colors and textures of the little things so well.


hadiqa 5 years ago

thanks for sharing,,,,


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

@hadiqa - You are most welcome!

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