December 1, 2012

The Barbie Look - Exclusive Interview With Designer Bill Greening!

It’s here! Barbie Collector Principal Designer Bill Greening’s follow up to Barbie Basics® is The Barbie Look Collection, which debuts with two dolls, four fashions, and a wardrobe for de-boxes to “play and display” Barbie dolls.

To celebrate the launch of this new signature collection, Principal Designer Bill Greening took time out of planning for the next releases in the collection to answer a few questions for collectors and fans.

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Congrats on the launch of The Barbie Look! How long have you been working on the new collection, and how does it feel now that the first dolls and accessories have debuted?

We explored a few ideas after we knew Barbie Basics® was coming to an end. So I’ve been working on it for well over a year. I’m really excited about the debut of The Barbie Look, and the early response from the Barbie Collector community has been great.

Speaking of Barbie Basics, that collection featured variations on fashion staples like LBDs, jeans, and swimwear. How does this new collection differ from Barbie Basics?

The Barbie Look, very much like Barbie Basics, is focused on having fun, playing and displaying Barbie dolls.

Barbie Basics was really about two things: The fashion staple and a variety of dolls. We then had accessory packs to plus-up the fashion staple, like how to dress up your denim for an evening look, or how to accessorize your LBD for an office look, for example.

With The Barbie Look, the focus is on a complete thematic fashion statement for Barbie. The dolls are more luxe too. They come with jewelry, rooted lashes, and little shopping bags. They’re more fashion trend focused vs. focusing on a fashion staple. It gives me a little more creative freedom with the design.

Of course the dolls are fabulous, but let's not forget the individual fashions, which are stunning! How did you choose these first four themes?

Collectors have been requesting individual fashions for a very long time. I think after a great run of Basics dolls, separate fashions are long overdue.

The idea for the fashions almost came from the origin of the collection name "The Barbie Look." It was an advertising campaign that started in the mid 60s and ran through the early 70s. It was all about getting the "Barbie Look," which to me meant quality, style, and fashion authenticity in a way only Barbie could deliver.

I wanted to make sure we still delivered on what that idea stood for. In deciding on the themes we imagined, what would be in Barbie doll's closet, what glamorous fashionable events she’d attend, and what we’d expect to see Barbie wearing at those events. Shopping, on the red carpet, poolside, golfing at the country club, and girly tea party are all places I can imagine Barbie at. Each fashion tells a story.

What are some of your favorite details about these first dolls and fashions? What came out even better than you dreamed or hoped it would?

I love the little accessories that come with the fashions. They’re so reminiscent of the early Barbie fashions of the 1960s. The movie award, the tea set, the golf clubs, the palm fan, and plate of fruit are all so detailed.

Of course this collection has to feel modern too. It's not all about nostalgia, but I think it really ties back to the DNA of the Barbie brand and our heritage. I hope our Barbie collectors see and appreciate that.

Most collectors know I’m a big fan of the Steffie face sculpt, so a Steffie with rooted lashes is heaven to me. I also love African American dolls, and I think this girl is giving some serious fashion attitude!

The addition of the Barbie Wardrobe is a fantastic touch. Tell us how that came to be a part of the collection's debut.

The idea of the closet really came from the thought of all the collectors setting up those great vignettes and displaying their collections. The De-boxers!

I think it’s a fun way to display your fave Barbie fashions and accessories. Maybe buy a few and line them up on your doll shelf, creating a scene of the ultimate Barbie closet. The closet has a trap door underneath where you can slide different wallpapers in and out. Three are provided with the closet, however I think crafty collectors will insert their own fave designs. It’s all about having fun, playing and displaying Barbie dolls.

What's next for The Barbie Look? How do you see the collection developing?

We have more dolls and fashions planned for Fall 2013, and we’re currently planning "what’s next" after that. The goal is to offer a wide variety of fashions and fashion themes. Glamour, sport, party dresses, casual wear – what one would expect to see in Barbie doll's wardrobe.

As far as dolls go, I’d like to try to roll in a variety of face sculpts as well. I hope the line has a nice run and collectors can appreciate we have heard their requests for a fashion-based Barbie line at an affordable price. I think it’s a great addition to your 2013 Barbie collection!

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Will you be deboxing, dressing Barbie, and storing clothes in the new wardrobe? Let us know in the comments!

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