Mattel Unveils More Barbie Dolls to Celebrate the Diverse Beauty of Black Women


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barbie® (@barbiestyle) on

Lately, Barbie manufacturer Mattel has been working hard to produce diverse dolls that represent women of all colors, shapes, sizes, and even careers. The brand’s latest line of Barbies coincided with Black History Month (February), and was designed in collaboration with Bermudan stylist and creative consultant Shiona Turini.

The new collection is part of Barbie Style, a series that merges fashion, art, and culture. “I grew up obsessed with Barbie and while she was one of my first fashion icons, I clearly remember searching shelves for a doll that looked like me and coming up empty-handed,” says Turini. “The first black Barbie was introduced in 1980—in a sparkly red dress with an Afro pick in her hair.” Turini decided to pay homage to the original black Barbie by reintroducing her into the new lineup. She also added a bunch of new dolls into the collection, styled to celebrate the diversity of black culture.

Turini’s Barbies feature a range of skin tones, as well as hairstyles, including braids, afros, finger waves, and “everything in between.” For their outfits, Turini designed a collection of doll-sized red outfits inspired by the original black Barbie. For another collection, she was influenced by the costumes she designed for Queen & Slim, a film she worked on last year. “When I worked on the movie Queen & Slim the stand-out, ‘hero’ look for me was mixing snakeskin and tiger prints in the same look,” says Turini. “The contrast of the two patterns completely subverts expectations, and I was excited to use the same formula on pieces such as Barbie’s thigh-high boots to break the traditional mold of dolls I had grown up playing with.”

You can find out more about Turini’s Black History Month Barbie collection on Instagram.

Mattel recently collaborated with Bermudan stylist Shiona Turini to create a line of Barbie dolls that celebrate Black History Month.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barbie® (@barbiestyle) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barbie® (@barbiestyle) on

Barbie: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
Shiona Turini: Website | Instagram
h/t: [designboom]

All images via Barbie / Shiona Turini.

Related Articles:

Barbie Introduces More Diverse Dolls to Show Beauty Comes in Many Forms

Barbie Unveils Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks and Astronaut Sally Ride Dolls

Barbie Introduces Real Female Heroes to Celebrate International Women’s Day

Barbie Gets a Diverse Makeover with 33 Dolls in New Shapes, Sizes, and Colors

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content