Pink lady turns 50

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 March, 2009, 12:00am

Barbara Millicent Roberts - better known as Barbie - is the most well known girl in the world. She first appeared at the New York Toy Fair in 1959 and the forever-young icon still plays a role in many little girls' lives.

On February 14, a life-sized Barbie fashion show took place at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, kicking off a series of worldwide celebrations for her 50th birthday.

Hong Kong is set to join the global festivities and pay tribute to the timeless beauty. Starting on March 6, a range of six classic dolls will be relaunched, and some new collector's items will be available in time for the doll's official birthday on Monday.

And at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, there will be an exhibition paying tribute to the model-like blonde.

The exhibition will feature more than 180 rarely seen Barbie dolls that represent the fashion and pop culture of the five decades since her creation.

Highlights include the most well-known early Barbie look - a black and white striped swimsuit - and some of the 108 careers the doll has been dressed for, including an army officer in Pentagon-approved uniform, Unicef ambassador and even presidential candidate.

The display also takes visitors on a journey through fashion history, from the groovy, multi-coloured, swirling patterns and miniskirts of the 60s and long, loose hair and flares of the 70s, to the bold, glam look of shoulder pads, scrunchies and big belts in the 80s and the more casual style of jeans and boots in the new millennium.

The doll has been an inspiration to the leaders of the fashion world since her first appearance.

Famous fashion designer Anna Sui said she started dressing Barbie dolls in her own designs at an early age.

High-end fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg said: 'Barbie represents a confident and independent woman with an amazing ability to have fun while remaining glamorous.'

Richard Dickson, general manager and senior vice-president of Barbie, said: 'There are very few brands in the world that serve as a reflection of fashion, culture and aspiration like the Barbie brand, and this allows us the honour of partnering and celebrating alongside an unprecedented roster of the world's most famous and respected names.'

The Pink Barbie Exhibition runs from April 9 to 19 in the Ocean Terminal lobby.