You’ve come a long way, Barbie – Metro US

You’ve come a long way, Barbie

In half a century, she’s been an astronaut, an Olympian, and a four-time presidential candi-date — all while main-taining a perky bod with nary a wrinkle in sight.

Only one woman on earth (albeit not a real one!) is capable of such improbable achievements, and her name is Barbie Millicent Roberts — or, simply, Barbie, as we all know her.

“Barbie’s come a long way,” said Adriana Gut, Barbie brand manager for Mattel Canada. “What’s interesting about her is she’s managed to stay really relevant and is truly a reflection of the times.”

This Monday, Barbie turns 50 years old, five decades after debuting at the New York Toy Fair in a zebra-print swimsuit. Little girls quickly swooned over the buxom blond and toy maker Mattel sold 300,000 that year, making Barbie both a household name and a household item.

Today, three Barbies are sold every second, according to Mattel. Barbie has also undergone many transformations, with 108 careers on her resume and 50 nationalities on her passport. Her closet has millions of outfits, some designed by the likes of Vera Wang or Christian Lacroix, and her shoe collection is steadily approaching infinity.

And while Barbie has as many critics as she does fans, there’s no debating her iconic status. To celebrate her birthday, Mattel Canada collaborated with five Canadian brands to design exclusive product lines, with everything from couches to couture for the modern-day Barbie buff.

Barbie stilettos are also finally available in human size now, thanks to Town Shoes. “Every little girl wanted to fit in to Barbie shoes,” said Crissi Giamos, director of public relations.

Barbie clothes, too, will now be human-sized when David Dixon unveils his Barbie-inspired collection at Toronto Fashion Week. “I went ‘Barbie clothes for women?’ … and said, ‘Yeah, why not?’” Dixon said. “It’s allowed me to explore a new avenue with my signature collection.”

Cake founder Heather Reier says her line of Barbie cosmetics “celebrates how far she’s come … It has all that old-school quality feel to it but with a different spin.”

And what Barbie fantasy is complete without a home? The Bay will soon be selling Barbie furniture and home accessories by Glenn Dixon, co-host of W Network’s Take This House and Sell It!

“Everyone has a Barbie story,” Dixon said. “It’s about living out your dreams, more than the doll itself.”

Celebrate Barbie’s 50th with these products
Join the celebration with offerings from these Canadian designers:

• Designer David Dixon has created a women’s collection to honour the world’s tiniest fashionista. It promises to add plenty of pink to the runway at its Toronto Fashion Week debut (March 16).

• Foxy Originals’ Barbie jewelry collection uses playful zebra and rainbow prints, riffing on designers Jen Kluger and Suzie Orol’s ’80s childhoods for inspir-ation. “We had fun interpreting Barbie in terms of our generation,” said Kluger.

• For that Barbie-perfect skin (minus all the plastic), Cake Beauty’s creams, mists and scrubs — in a specially-concocted signature Barbie scent that takes inspiration from vintage ’60s Barbies — will be available at Sephora.

• Town Shoes has designed a party shoe, platform sandal and zebra-print pump, all sporting a Barbie-pink sole.

• Glenn Dixon’s home furnishings and accessories, such as lacquered chairs and modern sofas, will make for a glam addition to any Dream House. Available at the Bay.

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