By Ani Morgan
The Barbie Looks story continues with its most exciting chapter yet: three new dolls as glamorous and refreshing as the last!
In July 2021, we collectively swooned over the Barbie Looks debut – a black, white, and bold-all-over spinoff of the now retired Barbie Basics line. Now, on the heels of that first release, we’re thrilled to introduce the fresh new faces of Barbie Looks!
Designed by Barbie Signature Lead Designer Bill Greening, the sleek second installment of the fan favorite series features another gorgeous, ethnically diverse lineup of Barbie and Ken dolls, this time with metallic details and even more edge. All three new Barbie Looks dolls have fully posable Made to Move™ bodies, original face sculpts, trendy hairstyles, and high-shine clothing with disco chic vibes.
What’s different about these newcomers? Quite a bit, but the main concept of highly articulated dolls with distinctive, high-fashion sensibilities remains the same. “The makeup definitely has more of an ‘80s vibe this time around,” says Bill. “And all the dolls use silver metallic as a through line to their fashions.”
That silver palette definitely sets this Barbie Looks trio apart from the first group, whose black-and-white aesthetic had a stark and minimalist tone. At once neutral and daring, silver is an unusual but fitting choice for this second wave of Barbie Looks. All three dolls are eye-catching in their own unique ways. The red-haired doll packs fierce style in her petite frame, shimmering from head to toe in knockout knee-high boots and grayish silver threads. The original-pixie-haired Barbie doll and long-locked Ken doll wear brighter silver bottoms with black sleeveless tops and boots for a funky-meets-sophisticated aesthetic that moves effortlessly from day to night.
The design team started ideating the second wave shortly after the first went into production. Bill had a good idea of the feeling he wanted to evoke and how the collection should evolve. “Wave one was all about the simplicity of black and white, very clean lines and clean make up,” he remembers. “I wanted to come back with a little more edge this time. A hint of night life and some color pops to the makeup.”
Aside from the silver fashions, another common thread is in the beautifully detailed shoes. Each doll wears unique boots that complement their overall looks. We have the blonde modern sophisticate with trendy asymmetrical booties, the fiery scene stealer with the cut-out gladiator boots, and the stoic style maven in black combat boots. It goes without saying that all of the details are very intentional in setting a specific tone.
Just like the first Barbie Looks release, it’s the photography that really brings the dolls to life, thanks to the creative mind of Art Director Zlatan Kusnoor. “When I saw Bill’s metallic dolls, the first thought that popped into my head was space! I wanted the dolls to vaguely look like they were on a space craft,” he says. “We took a portion of the first set and lit it up with blue hues to complement the silver metallic looks. I am obsessed with how the shots turned out.”
Another part of what makes the photography so impactful, of course, is the lifelike way the dolls are posed.
“The Made to Move™ body is my absolute favorite to work with because I know how much we can get out of these dolls. My objective was to push the articulation and poses into something visually compelling,” says Zlatan. “The photographer and the stylist knocked it out of the park! Between the strong empowering poses, dynamic angles, and editorial crops, we landed on something that evokes so much emotion.”
Vicky Gevorkyan, Lead Designer for Barbie packaging, played a big part in creating the streamlined boxes now synonymous with the Barbie Looks line. “For the metallic Barbie Looks series I wanted to keep the same direction as series one, while also making sure we were highlighting the new dolls in a fresh way,” she says. “Using a gray and white color palette helped complement the metallic fashions nicely. The dolls are super cool! One of my favorite elements is the simple packaging design that really allows them to shine.”
At its core, the Barbie Looks line is all about extending and welcoming play. The presentation of the dolls invites deboxing, restyling, and posing in a myriad of ways that’s been lovely to see. Just one look through social media images tagged with #barbielooks showcases the creativity and brilliance of the collecting community, something that deeply resonates with the design team. With the first six dolls, “it was inspiring to me to see everyone having fun playing Barbie,” says Bill. “It really struck a nerve in the best way possible!”
Get set to expand your Barbie Looks collection, because these Black Label stunners are available now. We look forward to seeing how they come to life in the #barbielooks feed!