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Like a child at play: Toying with Barbie & Ethnic Motifs « MAD Blog
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Like a child at play: Toying with Barbie & Ethnic Motifs

Byron Lars Ayako Jones™ Barbie® doll

Byron Lars Ayako Jones™ Barbie® doll

This is not your little cousin Muffie’s Barbie – not at all. With his limited-edition figurines for Mattel, Fashion Designer Byron Lars plays around with the legendary plastic style icon,  keeping all the prerequisite Barbie musts intact – pointy ‘Barbie’ toes, beyond-perfect makeup, posture, and figure – whilst deftly playing around with her overall style dna.

It dosen’t hurt that his Barbies carry  snappy, ’round-the-way-girl’  names like ‘Cocoa,’ ‘Sugar,’ and ‘Indigo,’ or that they come in every shade under the sun, from lightly bronzed to inky black. And they boast crinkly, kinky hair to boot!

Lars’ latest creation, ‘Ayoko Jones,’ incorporates the ‘black-exotic’ aesthetic that many designers have explored in the recent past; once again, we reference Serge Mouangue, who fashions traditional Kimonos out of African printed materials.  Lars’ ‘Ayoko Jones’ represents a sort of inversion of this – a black doll outfitted in Asian-inspired garb.

According to Mattel, “Ayoko epitomizes glamor, multiculturalism, and cutting edge couture,” and her Geisha-inspired face paint and Kimono style blouse completes the look.

Even as a fancy plastic figurine intended for rabid doll collectors, Ayoko further challenges the common conception of design, as presented by black creators. She also brings that Asian/African fetishism to the fore yet again; with her delicately painted floral kimono blouse and sleek, contemporary accessories, Ayoko is another example of culture-crossing, category-defying design. That just happens to be created by a black designer.

Image courtesy: Mattel, Inc. http://www.barbiecollector.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=N6614&shelfID=150155
 

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  • Schash

    this is amazing. i love the ethnicity. What better way to show it than through barbies!!!!!! I love barbies they are very pretty especially this one! what a genius the creator is! 🙂


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