July marks the anniversary edition of Vogue Italia’s Black Issue, which features Black Barbie in a full, high-fashion editorial spread. As the magazine hits newsstands, doll-fanatics everywhere are excitedly anticipating the fall launch of Mattel’s So In Style dolls, which are designed with more authentic African-American features including fuller lips, a wider nose, and curly hair.
Unlike the goal of Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, whose vision was to emphasize the importance of diversity in fashion, the So In Style dolls center on a decidedly more wholesome theme: mentoring.
The collection’s accompanying storyline goes something like this: Barbie’s African-American friend, Grace, moves to Chicago, where she befriends two other African-American girls, Trichelle and Kara. Each begins to mentor a younger girl – the little “sis” dolls – bringing the entire collection to six dolls.
Creator of the So In Style dolls, Stacey McBride-Irby makes her efforts clear:
I want to bring inspirational role models to a new generation of little girls.