Growing up, girls play with dolls. Barbie dolls, baby dolls, American Girl dolls, pretty much whatever ridiculously ill-proportioned plastic dress-up toy they can get their tiny hands on. It’s almost a rite of passage. Unfortunately, once girls hit their teens (tweens for some), these dolls lose their luster and get packed away in a container headed for the attic where they will rest in peace for the remainder of their existence. On the other hand, some dolls aren’t subject to this kind of treatment. It has been brought to my attention that many dolls are collected and there are a generous number of collectors out there actively pursuing this (myself excluded; I’m not really in the doll collecting scene).
My interest was piqued when my co-worker brought in a Jason Wu doll she just purchased. Being extremely into fashion, I was embarrassed I missed this info about such an amazing designer. Wu actually started out making doll clothes. After coming to the United States, he didn’t have much money to afford fabric so with the small pieces he did have, he made doll clothes. Integrity Toys, after seeing his samples, enlisted him to make clothes and accessories for their collections. Over the past 13 years, he has continued to make doll clothes, even after his sudden success. In 2000, Wu created the Fashion Royalty collection with Integrity Toys, outfitting seven high-fashion collectable dolls with stylish garments and accessories chic enough to walk the fashion week runway. Just last year, he created a doll for Fashion’s Night Out clothed in a look from his 2011 collection.
Let me introduce you to Blu Belle, one of Wu’s fabulous creations. She has been renamed Afro Blu Sissy by her owner and we love all her sassy attitude.
As I dug deeper into this world of fashion collector dolls I was surprised at how many big-name designers have created dolls.
Before the holidays last year, Lanvin’s magnificent leader, Alber Elbaz rolled out his 2012 collection of hand-decorated Miss Lanvin dolls. Limited-edition porcelain masterpieces showcasing Lanvin gowns, gems, and sunglasses are superbly cute running up to $750.
If that’s not enough, Mr. Elbaz also commissioned the charity, Dessine I’Espoir, to fabricate four limited-edition fabric dolls to launch the brand's children’s collection. Hand stitched and embroidered, proceeds from the $400 figures go to the HIV-positive women working for the charity insuring them an income and improved quality of life.
- One of Lanvin's children's collection dolls
Toy giant and Barbie creator, Mattel, has had collector dolls custom-made by some of the fashion industry’s most innovative and loved designers. From power-players like Oscar de la Renta to icons like Christian Dior, Barbie’s Gold Label Collection is the quintessential fashion-lovers keepsake. Some assembly required.You're such a doll!