Have you ever watch an episode on Netflix "Toys That Made Us" documentary? If you haven't. Then, watch it now because it is mind blowing and exceptionally interesting. On the first series, the second episode was all about Mattel and Barbie. In this programme, I was eager to know and learning more about the company. It was compelling that how they narrated and documented the whole history of Mattel. Watching it made my mind wonder and imagine on how demanding the toy industry was.
Have you ever thought where does Barbie originated? Not that she was designed in the USA and created by Ruth Handler the founder of Barbie. But instead, identifying the roots of the real and original Barbie.
Since I was a kid, I always play with Barbie and little that I did know, the doll itself has its long history. Barbie as a doll was always my inspiration, role model and a friend. Can you still remember that instance, when you were as a kid and you talked to your doll like she was your human friend? It was creepy right? And sometimes our moms tell us to halt what we were doing. However, according to the neuroscientists from Cardiff University in England, parents should allow their kids to play and talk to their dolls because this is to increase a child's cognitive development. In fact, children can positively gain more empathy and social well being. I must admit when I was a kid, I like to play my dolls with friends and as far I could remember, we had lots of fun.
Going back to the scenario, when Ruth Handler had been so frustrated about her daughter to not have many options to play with. Immediately, she was in search for new toys for girls. She got her idea from her daughter who likes to play dress up on paper dolls because there were no fashion dolls available in 1950's.
One summer in 1952, the Handler family had decided to come to Switzerland for holidays. This was the beginning and the new doll was finally discovered.
The "Bilder" newspaper from Germany where Ruth had seen for the first time. The Lilli doll and comic strips that which she had immediately replicated later that year.
It was a joke at first because the character Lilli was somehow not what we imagined as a pristine and poise woman but instead she was a woman of pleasure.
Then, Ruth had made a decision to make Lilli as her new inspirational doll made by Mattel and she named her Barbie after her daughter Barbara.
Images from hahn-presse.de
After watching the whole documentary about Barbie and Mattel, this gives me goosebumps. It felt like I was also in the same page searching my own passion. I was a fashion designer in London and yet, the wind of destiny had blown me to the country of Switzerland where also Ruth Handler found her niche doll.
Currently, I am now based in Zurich and I also created my own doll called "Ella Superstarr". She is based on pure imagination and inspiration from fairy-tales, pop culture, fashion trends and course, a bit of Barbie.
Is this pure coincidence ? Or is it just my luck?
Ella Baxter EXTRAVAGANZA collection
Our Extravaganza dolls are designed also in Zurich Switzerland and available on selling by wholesale. Direct message us on our contact page to learn more about the collection.
To get to know more of our dolls. Click the link here or just follow the doll collection on our website.
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Always be kind to everyone, be confident and #staygorgeous
Until next newsletter!
Love and Kisses,