Barbie is having a moment. After 60-plus years on the scene, the storied doll brand is making waves and taking names. Inspiring everything from fashion to home fixtures, the Mattel creation has reinvented itself for the modern woman. Adding to its fresh new appearance is an NFT art collection, brought to life with Serena Ventures-backed brand, Boss Beauties.
Last spring, Mattel hinted at the idea of exploring nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as a solution for its brands. CEO Ynon Kreiz reportedly said on an earnings call that NFTs was “definitely an area where we see opportunity, especially when you think about the built-in fan base, the collector segment for classic evergreen brands that we own and we expect to see opportunities there.”
In January, Mattel launched a Barbie x Balmain 50-piece Barbie-inspired collection for adults, including NFTs of one-off looks that were auctioned online. This time around the focus is on artwork with plans to create 15,000 one-of-a-kind Barbie NFT portraits for collectors to buy and trade. The brand explains that each NFT will feature Barbie careers in celebration of the brand reaching 250 careers represented in their line since 1959. The hope is to inspire the next generation of leaders and dreamers, and it is set to debut later this year.
“Barbie is the original girl empowerment brand. From CEO to chef to scientist, we’ve been reminding girls everywhere that they can be anything for the past six decades,” says Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel. “As we celebrate over 250 careers represented in the Barbie line timed to International Day of the Girl, we are proud to bring some of these careers to life in a new way through our digital art collaboration with Boss Beauties, which celebrates our shared passion to champion the next generation of female leaders.”
Career traits represented in the collection will range from astronaut to archeologist, beekeeper to CEO and everything in between. As of late, Barbie has put an emphasis on encouraging young girls to explore career opportunities. Once criticized for unrealistic body proportions and materialism, Barbie is now the face of astronauts, film producers, and even political leaders. The brand recently launched a Madam C.J. Walker doll, highlighting the contributions of Black entrepreneurs.
Boss Beauties was founded last year as a women-empowerment brand with the hope of showcasing girls and women at the forefront of technology, leadership and creativity. Partnering with Barbie brings a special kind of synergy to the NFT world — one that prioritizes a marginalized group in the crypto world. A recent survey found that only 26 percent of current crypto holders in the U.S. are women and far fewer are crypto founders.
“This collection of digital art perfectly connects the two brands through Barbie’s signature style and Boss Beauties looks,” says Lisa Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Boss Beauties. As part of the partnership, Barbie and Boss Beauties will donate $250,000 in honor of the 250 careers represented in the collection. Half will go to Barbie's Dream Gap Project, and the other half to the Boss Beauties Foundation with the hope of empowering “the limitless possibilities of girls and women globally.”