‘Barbie’ Is Changing the Clothes People Wear

    07 August 2023

    If you walk into a clothing store, you are likely to be hit with an explosion of the color pink.

    The pink wave has been fueled by the release last month of the wildly successful film Barbie. The movie is based on the popular doll of the same name, made by the toy company Mattel.

    This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Margot Robbie in a scene from Barbie. (Warner Brothers via AP)
    This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Margot Robbie in a scene from "Barbie." (Warner Brothers via AP)

    Barbie dolls are known for their bright pink color. And clothes based on what the toy wears have become hugely popular. People are calling them Barbiecore outfits.

    Barbie clothing items include shoes, backpacks, swimsuits and even special clothes for dogs.

    "There is not a corner of the globe that hasn't turned pink," said Richard Dickson, Mattel's president and chief operating officer.

    The pink wave actually began last year, but Barbie strengthened it. High-end designer Valentino kicked off the pink wave by dressing models in head-to-toe in a pink color called fuchsia for a runway show in March of 2022.

    A few months later, photos showed Barbie movie star Margot Robbie on set in a hot pink Western outfit. The look got a lot of attention online, said Madeline Hirsh. She is news director for the fashion magazine InStyle.

    Around the same time, more and more people were returning to their workplaces and doing more social things as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

    Hirsch said, "People were craving joy, color and new clothes to wear out again..."

    The style took off. Fashion magazines published pictures of famous stars, including Kim Kardashian and Harry Styles, in bright Barbie-inspired clothes.

    Barbie stylized items

    Barbie is one of Mattel's top three brands. The toymaker trademarked the word Barbiecore in 2022. It also partnered with companies such as high-end French designer Balmain, Kendra Scott, and Barefoot Dreams.

    Those efforts went into full force in 2023, with more than 100 partnerships tied to the movie. Mattel has also worked on many products outside of fashion, such as an Instagram-perfect pool float from Funboy and a pink Microsoft X-box gaming device in a Barbie Dreamhouse.

    There are even Barbie-centric foods. They include an ice cream flavor and a Barbie Burger with pink sauce sold at Burger King fast food restaurants in Brazil.

    I'm Gregory Stachel.

    Lisa Richwine reported this story for Reuters. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.


    Words in This Story

    outfit n. a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people

    globe n. the earth

    crave v. to have a very strong desire for (something)

    inspired adj. having a particular cause or influence

    brand n. a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name

    trademarked n. something (such as a word) that identifies a particular company's product and cannot be used by another company without permission