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Runway to Retail - Barbiecore

By Jayne Mountford


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Valentino, Chanel, Versace, Elie Saab/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Mattel’s Barbie doll was first launched in 1959 and grew to become an American icon alongside Mickey Mouse and Coca Cola. Pre-Pandemic, Warner Bros announced that they would be releasing a movie called ‘Barbie,’ directed by Greta Gerwig, and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. The news inspired a TikTok trend called ‘Barbiecore,’ with the hashtag #barbiecore having had over 300,000 views.

Over the past four years, Barbie-influenced fashions have been seen all over the runways. It’s an aesthetic that exudes positive energy, and is the perfect antidote to the generalized anxiety manifested by the Pandemic and the societal shifts afterwards. The trend appeared to reach its peak in the summer of 2022, however the imminent release of the movie, slated for July 19, 2023, has renewed interest, both on the runways, and in stores.

Michael Kors SS20

Michael Kors ss20/Launchmetrics Spotlight

For the SS20 season, Michael Kors presented a collection of American sportswear favorites. Look 76 was a three-piece ensemble that included a bra top, tap shorts and a one-button blazer, all in red and white gingham check. He accessorized with white platform sandals and a wicker bag.

Moschino SS21 - designer: Jeremy Scott

Moschino ss21/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Jeremy Scott presented 40 looks shown on puppets. With most of the world still working from home and wearing sweatpants, Scott envisioned a post-Pandemic world where women would once again like to dress up. Looks 19, 21 and 39 were Haute Couture-like outfits that perhaps Barbie herself would wear.

Brandon Maxwell SS22

Brandon Maxwell ss22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Maxwell has been described as ‘print-adverse,’ but was clearly influenced by the Barbiecore trend when he presented his spring 22 show. The collection was brimming with bright colors, shiny materials and inviting prints and patterns. Look 34 consisted of a nylon windcheater and drawstring waist shorts over a bodysuit; all rendered in a pale blue and white gingham check.

MSGM SS22 - designer: Massimo Giorgetti

MGSM ss22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Massimo Giorgetti is a designer who often appears to embrace the Barbie aesthetic, with acidic color palettes and lively prints, albeit perhaps unknowingly. His spring 22 Collection was no exception. Right out of the box, look 1 consisted of a neon green and white gingham bodysuit under a wrap-front mini skirt in an oversized hot pink and white plaid. Accessories included neon green slides and a gingham mini-bag.

Valentino FW22 - designer: Pierpaolo Piccioli

Valentino fw22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Pierpaolo Piccioli adopted an extreme color strategy for Valentino fall ready-to-wear. The first 40 looks were rendered in head-to-toe hot pink. Many of them were pure Barbiecore. Look 38 was a matching hot pink jacket and dress in embroidered satin, accessorized with hot pink gloves, tights, platform boots and a mini-bag.

Valentino fw22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Elie Saab SS23

Elie Saab ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

For spring 23, the Lebanese designer presented a fresh collection full of bright white eyelet dresses, ombré peach and white separates and in one instance, a head-to-toe look in neon green. Look 15 consisted of a long-sleeved silk georgette button-through shirt, tap shorts, bra and scarf. A shoulder bag and sandals were shown in the same color.

Paul & Joe SS23 - designer: Sophie Mechaly

Paul & Joe ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Designer Sophie Mechaly’s collection for spring 23 was inspired by the idea of the ‘secret garden’ and the imaginations of Lewis Carroll. Look 5 consisted of blue and white gingham overalls, with a floral long-sleeved blouse underneath, and a matching ‘kerchief. A round toed pink patent t-strap shoe completed the ensemble.

Versace pre-fall 23

Versace pre-fall 23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Donatella Versace collaborated with pop star Dua Lipa to present a ‘see now, wear now’ collection for pre-fall 23 at the Cannes Film Festival. Dua Lipa’s role in the upcoming Barbie movie is greatly anticipated and a ‘Barbiecore’ influence on the show was marked. Look 5 consisted of an oversized pink blazer, matching short shorts and a pink sequined bra. The ensemble was heavily accessorized with pink metallic cowboy boots and shoulder bag, a gold body chain, two gold necklaces and earrings.

Credits: Versace pre-fall 23/Launchmetrics Spotlight
Look 17 was a one-shouldered top in a multi-colored print top and a blue metallic mesh mini skirt with butterfly details. Accessories included aviator sunglasses, mesh bag, chain belt and bracelets and Greek style sandals.

Chanel resort 24

Chanel resort 24/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Virginie Viard presented the Chanel collection for resort 24 in Los Angeles. A star-studded front row included Kristen Stewart, Riley Keough, Issa Rae, and Marion Cotillard and Margot Robbie, star of the upcoming ‘Barbie’ movie. The designer claimed to have taken inspiration from the Venice Beach boardwalk, playground of the original Barbie and Ken characters. Look 20 was true Barbiecore: a cropped knit jacket with matching cropped top and short shorts, all in pastel pink and yellow stripes. Accessories included pink fur bracelets and earrings, a crossbody mini bag, charm necklaces and pearl colored point toe shoes with large black bows.

Barbiecore in retail stores

Credits: Courtesy/Bloomingdale's, Mattel

Several retailers including Gap and Kendra Scott have current collaborations with Barbie and Mattel. ‘Barbie The Movie x Bloomingdale's' is another example. Dresses and separates in this collection for women and girls are rendered in shades of pink, and blue.

Credits: Courtesy/Bloomingdale's, Mattel
Credits: Courtesy/Bloomingdale's, Mattel
Credits: Courtesy/Bloomingdale's, Mattel
Runway to retail