In recent years, Mattel’s Barbie has grown beyond the role of a child’s toy to a brand recognized for celebrating culture.
This year, the iconic brand released a Día De Muertos limited edition collection with the help of world-renowned fashion designer, Benito Santos.
The 2022 release of three Día De Muertos Barbie dolls have been selling hot, which comes as no surprise. After all, one of the dolls were designed by famed designer Santos himself. The doll, BENITO SANTOS X BARBIE DOLL, was priced at $100 and it’s already sold out.
Who is the Mexican designer, Benito Santos?
Benito Santos was born in Tepehuaje Morelos Jalisco and studied medicine at the University of Guadalajara before studying fashion at the Institute of Guadalajara. Barely touching the surface of his first career, he’s known for his glamorous, embroidered designs, and has already presented in top fashion shows throughout Mexico and Latin America as well as Fashion Week New York, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. He was also awarded the National Prize for Fashion in 2014.
Javier Meabe, Barbie’s signature designer, shared his thoughts on the successful collaboration with Benito Santos.
“I’m excited that we get to expand the world of Día De Muertos in the Barbie portfolio. We also get to see it come to life through the vision of Benito Santos, who also loves and celebrates the holiday,” said Meabe.
Designing with authenticity in mind
The Benito Santos Barbie wears a white and crimson embroidered, ornate black dress, inspired by the rich cultural tradition of charro suits. Although this doll is sold out, two other dolls from the collection are still available.
For several years now, Día De Muertos products created in the U.S. were scrutinized by the Latino community because they felt as commercialized cultural appropriation, attempting to profit off of the popular Mexican holiday. Mattel, however, was seemingly successful in integrating its brand with a Día De Muertos theme with elegance and authenticity.
Día De Muertos begins on November 1st and continues to November 2nd. But the preparation for the celebration – celebrated in Mexico and in other Latin American countries – takes place a few weeks before.
From marigolds to papel picado, many families throughout Mexico, the United States, and beyond are already anticipating the design of their altars to honor their loved ones this year.
What are your thoughts on the Benito Santos Barbie doll?