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Barbie and Harlem’s fashion district have teamed up to make a powerful statement, in the fashion world, of course.
In a new collaboration, the two celebrate the works of three black fashion designers Anifa Mvuemba from HanifaPatrick Henry, professionally known as Fresh, of Rich Freshand Kimberly Goldson of her eponymous brand had their exact designs reproduced in miniature form to be featured on multicultural Barbies.
Founded in 2007 by Brandice Daniel, Harlem’s Fashion Row is dedicated to celebrating emerging color designers, introducing up-and-coming household names to new audiences, brand partnership opportunities, and more.
“Since its inception, Barbie has been a go-to, self-aware print for young girls everywhere. Now, more than ever, Barbie celebrates our differences, and I’m thrilled that Harlem’s Fashion Row is also playing a part in diversification of their style,” Daniel said in a statement. “With this Black History Month collaboration, black designers; Hanifa, Kimberly Goldson and Rich Fresh are giving Barbie a fresh-off-the-runway appeal with their unique design aesthetic.
Hanifa’s look consists of white thigh-high boots and the Brooklyn jacket from the Fall/Winter 2021 collection.
“Who hasn’t loved Little Girl Barbie?! I loved my Barbie Dream House with the most perfect elevator, it gave me the chance to dream in real life,” Anifa Mvuemba, designer/founder of Hanifa, said in a statement. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to connect with 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 that founded Goldson, will showcase a layered “Mari” dress and metallic copper “Lizzette” shorts from the Spring 2022 collection, dubbed “Blissful Evolution.”
“It’s powerful of Barbie to use its platform to help bridge the gap in how we look at people of different shades and backgrounds,” Kimberly Goldson explained. “It made it important for me to partner with her to wear Kimberly Goldson for Black History Month. I chose a look that personified the KG aesthetic that was born out of our Brooklyn culture and carried by luxury. She’s ready for Bed Stuy!
Rich Fresh’s doll, modeled after his muse August McQueen, is shown in a blue tracksuit from his Winter 2021 collection, which he calls “luxeisure”.
“What appealed to me the most about the Barbie project was the level of inclusiveness I saw in the Barbie universe. There are Barbies for everyone,” Fresh shared. “Deliberately . I knew this would be a project I could get involved in. It is important that children from all cultures see each other. Representation is essential. Involving black creatives gives us the opportunity to contribute to the narrative. The significance of doing this during Black History Month is significant, but more important are the ongoing efforts to engage creatives from all walks of life to help represent themselves within the Barbie universe.
Harlem’s Fashion Row is auctioning off one-of-a-kind designer dolls to benefit their nonprofit ICON360, which provides financial resources and professional development to black designers and HBCU fashion programs. The auction is scheduled to end on March 3, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
To place your bid in the auction, click here.