Barbie and Harlem’s Fashion Row have teamed up to make a powerful statement—in the world of fashion, of course.
In a fresh collaboration, the two are celebrating the works of three Black fashion designers Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa, Patrick Henry, professionally known as Fresh, of Rich Fresh, and Kimberly Goldson of her eponymous brand had their exact designs replicated in miniature form to be showcased on multicultural Barbies.
Founded in 2007 by Brandice Daniel, Harlem’s Fashion Row dedicates its efforts to celebrating emerging designers of color, introducing soon-come household names to new audiences, brand partnership opportunities, and more.
“Since its inception, Barbie has been a right of passage, an impression of self-awareness for young girls everywhere. Now, more than ever, Barbie celebrates our differences, and I’m excited that Harlem’s Fashion Row gets to play a part in widely diversifying their style too,” expressed Daniel in a statement. “With this Black History Month collaboration, black designers; Hanifa, Kimberly Goldson, and Rich Fresh, give Barbie fresh-off-the-runway appeal with their unique design aesthetics.”
Hanifa’s look consists of thigh-high white boots and the Brooklyn Jacket from the Fall/Winter 2021 collection.
“Who didn’t love Barbie as a little girl?! I loved my Barbie Dream House with the most perfect elevator, it gave me the chance to dream in real life,” said Hanifa designer/founder Anifa Mvuemba in a statement. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity to connect to my childhood and I’m happy to see that little Black girls everywhere can see themselves starting with their favorite toy.”
Kimberly Goldson and Shelly Powell, the sister team who founded Goldson, will be showcasing a “Mari” multi-layered dress and the copper metallic “Lizzette” shorts from the Spring 2022 collection, dubbed “Blissful Evolution.”
“It is powerful of Barbie to use her platform to help bridge the gap on the way we look at people of various shades and from different backgrounds,” Kimberly Goldson explained. “That made it important for me to partner with her to wear Kimberly Goldson for Black History Month. I chose a look that personifies the KG aesthetic which is born of our Brooklyn culture and driven by luxury. She’s ready for Bed Stuy!”
Rich Fresh’s doll, molded after his muse August McQueen, is presented in a blue tracksuit from his Winter 2021 collection, which he describes as “luxeleisure.”
“What drew me to the Barbie project the most is the level of inclusivity I saw in the Barbie Universe. There’s Barbies for everybody,” shared Fresh. “Deliberately. I knew this would be a project I could get involved with. It’s important for kids of all cultures to see themselves. Representation is vital. Involving black creatives gives us the opportunity to contribute to the narrative. The significance of doing this during Black history month is important, but what’s more important is the continued efforts to involve creatives from all backgrounds to help represent themselves within the Barbie Universe.”
Harlem’s Fashion Row is auctioning off the one-of-a-kind designer dolls to benefit their nonprofit organization ICON360, which provides financial resources and professional development to Black designers and HBCU fashion programs. The auction is slated to end on March 03, 2022, at 11:00 am EST.
To place your bid in the auction, click here.
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