As you are probably aware: this summer saw the capital city (and the whole world) descend into complete and utter Barbie-mania. London landmarks were illuminated in Barbie’s signature colour, London buses were Barbie-fied, and the whole city caught Barbie fever.
Well, if you still happen to have Barbie on the brain, you’ll be delighted to hear the news that an entire Barbie exhibition is coming to London’s Design Museum next year. That’s right: it’s been 65 years since the very first Barbie was born and to celebrate the momentous occasion, the Design Museum is dedicating an entire exhibition to the cultural icon that is Barbie.
The museum has been granted special access to the Barbie archives in California, and will be displaying a plethora of rare and unique items. The items that have been acquired or loaned will tell the story of the beloved brand over the past six-and-a-half decades.
This exhibition has been three years in the making (long before the movie arrived on our screens) and will open on July 5, 2024. The exhibition has been curated by the Design Museum’s Danielle Thorn and will map the incredibly legacy that Barbie has created.
The very first Barbie was created in 1959 by US businesswoman, Ruth Handler. The toy company, Mattel, manufactured the doll and her accessories and by the 1980s, Barbie was worth millions of dollars. Over the years Barbie has grown into a brand that has truly challenged stereotypes and championed feminism and diversity.
According to the Design Museum, their exhibition will “explore the story of Barbie through a lens, including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design”. Well, I for one, cannot wait because after all, it’s Barbie’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Tim Marlow, the Design Museum’s director, added: “Barbie is one of the most recognisable brands on the planet and as we’ve seen recently, her story evolves with each new generation. We look forward next year to displaying a whole range of eye-catching objects, some familiar but many never seen before, to showcase the evolution of design across the decades of Barbie’s world.”