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I remember the first Barbie-like doll I got, dark haired strong and fierce, and the first original Barbie I received as a Christmas gift, her blonde wavy hair and pink sequined leggings. I remember how very fascinated I found them, and how surprised I was at Ken’s dullness. I remember my dad making tiny little shoes out of chocolate foil wrappers for them. And I remember playing with my Barbies for hours, without talking, eating, or being otherwise engaged in the outside world, which is hardly difficult to believe since I continue to prefer my imaginary world to the real one.

When I was recently introduced to a new Romanian brand named Varvara, named after a Russian version of Barbie, I couldn’t but reminisce  and realize how far an entire generation of Barbie-playing girls has gone from its stereotypes. And yet, how some of the Barbie ideals and wishes have remained our ideals and wishes: the need to be professionally accomplished, the search for love, and more than anything the constant need to dream. But unlike Barbie, we grew up enjoying our diversity and needing more than just a pink plastic house in order to be happy.

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“I grew up in the Alps and France, and Barbie was my first exposure to the American woman. For me she was blonde, she was free and she was fun.”

Catherine Malandrino

“Barbie represents a confident and independent woman with an amazing ability to have fun while remaining glamorous.”

Diane von Furstenberg

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 “As a little girl, I spent countless hours playing with my Barbie dolls, even designing and sewing one-of-a-kind outfits for the doll. I guess you could say Barbie gave me my start as a designer.”

Cynthia Rowley

“I wasn’t Barbie-obsessed. I think my mother might have been my Barbie.”

Michael Kors

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Varvara Dress/Shirt/Robe & American Apparel Lace Briefs

 

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