Barbie has officially stepped into the digital metaverse of NFTs, and Mattel Creations is making big steps in the virtual space with this one-of-a-kind collaboration. In a press release sent to ESSENCE from the Mattel team, the Barbie team shared that they have partnered with luxury fashion label Balmain to announce a ready-to-wear fashion and accessories collection, as well as some fun digital artwork.

Combined, Barbie and Balmain will be releasing three one-of-a-kinds NFTs for unique Barbie and Ken avatars, a metaverse twist on a nostalgic childhood classic. Each avatar will be styled in complete looks from Balmain’s designs, as well as a set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces to create both a digital and physical art collection. The online NFT auction will be hosted on mintNFT, which will “[guarantee] buyers a unique place in fashion history as it moves into the virtual realm, according to the press release, and the Barbie x Balmain NFTs will be available exclusively through Mattel Creations.

“Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries,” read an official statement by Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mattel. “As a fashion house committed to innovation in unexpected and joyous ways, Balmain, under Olivier Rousteing’s creative direction, is the perfect partner to translate the iconography that is unique to Barbie into a modern iteration of digital art and physical fashion.”

Moreover, creative director Rousteing shared his thoughts on the collection, which includes the iconic, nostalgic 1990’s-era Barbie logo and iconic packaging. “As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive, and always joy-filled adventure,” read Rousteing’s statement via Mattel Creations. With assistance from the Balmain team, Rousteing has created an over 50 piece collection to bring together Barbie’s signatures as well as Balmain’s signature marinière and Labyrinth patterns.  “For this collaboration, we are building upon the New French Style of Balmain’s most recent collections, once again showing that Balmain is inspired by the truly diverse and exciting beauty found on today’s Parisian boulevards and avenues. This collection also rejects any arbitrary gender limitations—this is an almost 100% unisex collection. For, just as today’s Barbie makes clear, there’s nothing holding us back anymore!”

In celebration of the partnership’s announcement, Barbie and Balmain have launched a digital campaign illustrating the Barbie avatars wearing the accessories collection. The promotion was conceptualized and styled by Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall and photographed by Norbert Schoerner.

For more information on the Barbie x Balmain collaboration and to join the Barbie x Balmain MintNFT fireside chat on 1/11, please visit NFT.MattelCreations.com. The Barbie x Balmain ready-to-wear and accessories line will be available for purchase at Balmain stores, balmain.com, Mattel Creations, and retailers worldwide beginning tomorrow, January 13th.

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