December 12, 2012

Elizabeth Taylor: Actress, Businesswoman, Activist

She was a legend in her own time, and sparked a legacy that continues to affect the lives of millions. How do you capture the essence of Elizabeth Taylor – actress, businesswoman, activist – in creations like Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds Doll and Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes Doll?

In honor of their release, the Elizabeth Taylor Trust shared their thoughts about Miss Taylor, the dolls, and her lasting cultural and humanitarian impact.

It's been more than a decade since the last Elizabeth Taylor dolls were released for Barbie Collector. What inspired the creation of the two new dolls?

Both the Violet Eyes and White Diamonds dolls were inspired by the legacy of Elizabeth Taylor. She was an extraordinary woman most known for her film work, her striking taste in jewelry and fashion, as a successful businesswoman, and as a pioneering HIV/AIDS activist. These dolls represent a cumulative multi-faceted and much-celebrated life.

With so many iconic possibilities, how did you decide on the themes and fashions for the two dolls?

It was a matter of choosing specific traits she was best known for, such as her beauty, glamour and acclaimed acting career; and things she was most passionate about, like her work with HIV/AIDS, her fragrance business, and her love of jewelry. With all of these details combined, the dolls beautifully capture Elizabeth Taylor’s likeness.

What are your favorite details about each of the dolls?

There’s a personal connection to the Violet Eyes and White Diamonds dolls since Elizabeth Taylor herself approved the original Silkstone® Barbie Doll Collection face sculpt over 10 years ago. Both dolls wear the red ribbon representing Miss Taylor’s significant contribution to the cause of HIV/AIDS, which lives on through the work of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). Also, because of her direct involvement in the creation of the best-selling White Diamonds and Violet Eyes fragrances, the names of the dolls are the perfect touch. In addition, they are dressed in outfits inspired by iconic images of Miss Taylor from two of her famous films roles -- Suddenly, Last Summer and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The red ribbon on both the dolls is a beautiful touch. How does her commitment to fight HIV/AIDS live on in 2012 and beyond?

Since the onset of the AIDS pandemic, Elizabeth Taylor’s advocacy efforts during her lifetime served to raise much-needed funds and awareness. Her legacy of humanitarian service and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS continues through the work of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which is dedicated to providing direct patient care. ETAF funds and supports both local and international AIDS service organizations, including mobile units in Malawi. The work of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation remains an important part of her legacy until there is a cure.

If you could share one message with new doll collectors who might not be familiar with Miss Taylor and her legacy, what would it be?

Elizabeth Taylor was a woman who lived life to the fullest, followed her heart and celebrated every day. She lived fearlessly through both tragedy and triumph, all while maintaining a positive spirit. Elizabeth may be famous for being a glamorous film and fashion icon, but she had compassion for people who were suffering and a strong will to make a difference in their lives. That is what truly made her beautiful!

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