Last night PUMA celebrated 50 years of Suede by unveiling their collaboration with the iconic brand, Barbie. Converting a warehouse in DTLA’s Art District, PUMA x Barbie celebrated with a DJ, open bar, pink cotton candy, and of course a lifesize Barbie box influencers and celebs like Azusa Sakamoto (@azusabarbie), actress Torri Webster, actress Madison Pettis, actress Victoria Konefal, and many others were able to enjoy amongst the Barbie inspired artwork on the walls.
Much like the career path of NY based fashion designer Jason Wu, MATTEL’s Barbie Fashion Designer Carlyle Nuera always had a connection to Barbie dolls. From designing their outfits as a young boy, his childhood hobby turned into a flourishing career after graduating from Otis College of Art and Design in LA and obtaining a coveted position as Barbie Fashion Designer with MATTEL for the last 8 years.
“I was always really passionate about telling stories about empowering women and girls, and Barbie’s story has been that for me,” says MATTEL’s Director of Global Brand Communications Marissa Beck, who’s been with the brand for the last 5 years. With over 200 careers Barbie has had over the last 60 years, she can now add sneaker designer to her resume! Complete with black and raspberry pink suede sneakers featuring Barbie logo patterns, workout bras, leggings, a colorful hoodie, backpacks, and other accessories, this is definitely a collection you’ll need in your closet ASAP!
PUMA is mostly known as one of the world’s leading sports brands, but for fashionistas like me, I most associate them with their evolving brand image and partnerships with high-level celebs like Kylie Jenner, Rhiana’s Fenty x PUMA collab that took NYFW by storm this past September, and now Barbie. To say this brand always has something up their sleeve would be the ultimate understatement, as they continue to wow and expand their audience.
A Collab with two such recognizable brands like PUMA and Barbie is no small feat, so The LA Fashion Magazine sat down with MATTEL’s Marissa Beck and Carlyle Nuera as well as the team at PUMA to discuss all things Barbie, PUMA, and why this partnership is so important!
LAFM: How would you say Barbie has evolved into the 21st Century?
Marissa Beck of MATTEL: For almost 60 years, Barbie always has been a reflection of culture. For me personally, the diversity the line offers today is especially inspiring and I’m proud to have been part of helping to design that chapter. As you can see with our PUMA doll collaboration, Barbie is diverse, relatable AND reflective of street-style–a true testament to what is relevant right now.
LAFM: Carlyle, in developing a collection collaboration with a brand like PUMA, how long does it take you from idea to creation to develop the look, style and overall attitude of the Barbie doll for the collab?
Carlyle Nuera of MATTEL: The Barbie design process can take between a year to 18 months from concept to shelf. The design process for this collaboration was fun and bold, like PUMA itself. The Puma x Barbie suede shoes were already designed by the consumer products team, so I just picked up on that vibe, looked to the #1 Barbie from 1959 for touched of inspiration (the high pony, the hoop earrings, etc.) and went for it!
LAFM: Barbies have been around for almost 60 years, what do you think has kept each generation of girls and boys playing with them for so long?
Carlyle Nuera of MATTEL: I think Barbie has the power now to make a kid feel represented and seen in the world, whether it be through a hairstyle or texture, the shape of the nose, or even an aspirational career that Barbie is doing. For me personally, I’ve always seen Barbie as a muse and canvas for me to put my art and designs on to. That’s how she inspired me as a kid and how she still inspires me today in my career.
LAFM: PUMA, why did you want to do a collaboration with an iconic brand like Barbie, what inspired you?
PUMA: Barbie is more than just a doll, she’s a global icon #ForAllTime and an inspiration and canvas for dreams for almost 60 years. Barbie is proof that you can be anything with more than 200 careers and now she can add sneaker designer to her resume. To celebrate 50 years of the Suede, PUMA partnered with the pop culture and fashion icon Barbie with a collection straight out of the Dreamhouse. The inspiration behind the collection is Barbie’s fun fearless style for all ages!
Though Barbie is approaching her 60th Birthday next year, she’s far from an outdated toy. She’s become a true force to reckon with that has touched so many people globally. She’s inspiring, successful, and always stylish, and all of us at The LA Fashion Magazine can say for her PUMA partnership, #LAFMApproved!