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Balmain toys with NFTs in new Barbie-inspired fashion collection

The Mattel icon's influence is dominant in Balmain's brand new collection
The Mattel icon's influence is dominant in Balmain's brand new collection   -   Copyright  Reuters Connect
By Shannon McDonagh  with Reuters Connect

Luxury French fashion house Balmain has collaborated with Barbie on a brand-new fashion collection.

Led by creative director Olivier Rousteing, designers have partnered with the team at toy company Mattel to launch a ready-to-wear fashion and accessories line.

Comprised of over 50 pieces, the range includes lots of items in "Barbie pink", as well as a nostalgic 1990s-era Barbie logo, and references to key Balmain hallmarks, like its marinière and Labyrinth patterns.

"As our campaign images make very clear, Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure," shared Rousteing.

"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."

The designs featured are almost 100 per cent unisex, a rejection of "arbitrary gender limitations," he says.

Toying around with NFT's

The venture also marks the first time Barbie has entered the digital art world.

Designers from both brands are set to drop three one-of-a-kind non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of distinctive Barbie and Ken avatars, each of which is accompanied by a bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces, creating a unique digital and physical art collection.

"Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries," says 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."

Balmain's Barbie collection is released January 13.