This piece was originally published by American Vogue in August 2016
Charlotte Dellal launches her Charlotte Olympia Barbie collaboration today, a project that was nothing short of a childhood dream come true. “I had so many Barbie dolls as a child—more than any girl ever needed—and I made them outfits and set their hair,” says the British shoe designer. “My favorite was a special Rio de Janeiro Barbie. She’s still behind my desk in a box now, alongside a glass jar of a thousand Barbie shoes that I bought on eBay a few years ago.” In addition to creating her very own Barbie doll, Dellal has put together a seven-piece capsule collection of shoes and bags for grown-up Barbie fans to play with, launching on her website and Net-a-Porter today. Dellal’s signature kitty flats get the bubble-gum pink treatment—rendered in kitschy-cool leopard print as well, naturally—as do her signature platforms; think, marabou pink feathers and doll-face trimmings. Perhaps the standout accessory in the bunch though, is a blush pink box clutch called Barbie World that’s finished with the kind of miniature beauty essentials you would expect to find on Barbie’s vanity, including a fuchsia lipstick and monogrammed perfume bottle.
Of course Dellal’s Barbie doll design comes with its own arsenal of doll-size accessories, too: a Charlotte Olympia Bogart bag in red, little red gloves, and a pair of her popular Dolly heels with a gleaming gold platform. “The face is very much like the original Barbie doll from 1959,” she says. “I wanted that retro look because the essence of my brand comes from my love of a bygone era.” With her glamorous hairdo and retro chic outfit, the Barbie’s style certainly bears a striking resemblance to Dellal’s own, though the designer insists that she didn’t set out to make a doll in her own image. “The likeness that we share is that we both love leopard print, Charlotte Olympia shoes, and red lipstick,” she says noting that the doll also has a matching red mani-pedi that you only see when you take off her gloves and shoes. “And we probably go to the same hairdresser.”