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Balmain Collaborates with Barbie for a Special Edition Collection

Photographs by Norbert Schoerner

French luxury fashion house Balmain and iconic fashion toy Barbie recently announced that they are kicking off 2022 with a limited-edition collection of ready-to-wear clothing items and accessories, as well as a set of exclusive NFTs. Available on January 13th, the collection contains over 50 pieces inspired by Barbie’s signature color palette and bold iconography, and three unique Balmain-dressed Barbie and Ken NFTs. The NFTs will be auctioned off by Mattel Creations via mintNFT and are to be accompanied by a set of physical Barbie-sized Balmain items.

While Barbie has partnered with a variety of fashion brands in the past, this collaboration uniquely marks the brand’s introduction into the world of digital art. According to Mattel CEO and president Richard Dickson, Balmain serves as “the perfect partner to translate the iconography that is unique to Barbie into a modern iteration of digital art and physical fashion.”

This focus on modernization for Barbie and Balmain, two companies founded in the mid-20th-century, is not exclusive to the collection’s digital elements but also extends into the message of the collaboration. As Balmain’s Creative Director Olivier Roustein describes on the project’s official website, the brands are “embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure,” that, Roustein later notes, is reflective of the unlimited possibilities of Barbie. Additionally, the collection’s Parisian-inspired ready-to-wear items are nearly 100% unisex, further exemplifing the inclusivity and diversity the collaboration reportedly represents.

Both companies are hopeful for the future of fashion in the rapidly-expanding digital world, citing their vibrant collaboration as “a real fun moment,” that is “going to completely change the fashion industry,” says Balmain CMO Txampi Diz. For Barbie, the collaboration signifies the beginning of Mattel’s NFT roll out in an effort to maintain relevance in the future of the metaverse. Balmain, on the other hand, sees NFTs as an essential tool for high-fashion brands to interact with their customers, CMO Diz claiming, “it will have the same impact as when social media first started or when the internet first launched.”

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