When we look back at our childhood, it’s hard not to tear up at how simple times were.
Whether or not you were a collector of Barbie dolls (guilty!) or you just saw it on the shelves when you strolled in the toy store, Barbie was a part of almost everyone’s childhood.
Their dolls, movies, songs and merchandise have been engraved into our early years and it brings us happiness when we revisit them once in a while when we’re feeling nostalgic.
So, it’s nice to see that children nowadays still find the same joy in the things we used to hold so dearly and that they’re even taking it up a notch by participating in Barbie competitions.
Barbie launched their ‘You Can Be A Designer Fashion Reinvention’ Competition on 30 April which lasted until 7 June to give budding fashion designers their once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from Fashion Designer, Kittie Yiyi and Stylist, Min Luna.
For this competition, the talented young ladies, aged 5-12 years old, were asked to submit a range of creative designs to stun judges while showcasing their personalities, interests and aspirations. The 20 finalists presented their designs to the aforementioned judges as well as Elaine Lim, the Brand Manager of Mattel Continental Asia.
Kittie Yiyi was thrilled to be a part of the panel saying, “I was inspired to see girls as young as 5 years old getting excited about fashion design. It brought back so many memories of when I was little and would sew clothes for my Barbie dolls. It’s been such a joy to be a part of the journeys that these little designers are taking.”
The competition brought forth 6 winners who wowed the panel with not only their fashion designing skills that seemed beyond their years, but also the endearing stories behind their garments.
If you had a gloomy day today that needs a lil’ brightening up, here are some pictures of the stars of the competition…
Looking absolutely adorable in the sky blue dress and grey sash, Khayrah strikes the cutest pose.
If you noticed, the colours match those of a PPE because it was inspired by her aunt who is a brave front-liner fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic.
This dress was a way for Khayrah to pay tribute to such an important woman in her life and in ours.
Alayna looks like a ballerina in her gorgeous butterfly-inspired dress that looks like something fit for a catwalk.
While telling her story, she revealed that the dress is a symbol of growth and that she likens herself to a butterfly, waiting to spread her wings.
With talent like that, we’re sure that Alayna is going to reach for the sky and beyond.
Umaa Meenaa, 11
Capturing the stars from the sky and imprinting them on her dress, Umaa is not afraid to dream big.
Her galaxy-inspired dress is stunning as it demonstrates her skilful use of shapes and silhouettes, which Barbie will definitely want in her closet.
Plus, all that gold makes Umaa shine like the star she really is.
Do unicorns exist? After seeing this dress, even if they didn’t, they should because this is so adorable.
Olivia’s unicorn-inspired number is not only practical but super fashionable as well.
After taking one good look at it, the pastel colours even have me craving for a cupcake.
Aleesya Inara, 9
Now I personally relate to this one because who doesn’t love doughnuts, am I right?
Aleesya’s delightful, doughnut-inspired dress shows her precocious personality which made her stand out to the judges.
You can even see her personality shine here, blowing us a kiss.
Last but not least, we have the adorable (and the youngest of the bunch) Nina’s bright and colourful beach outfit which is a wonderful explosion of her charisma. I mean, just look at that cheeky smile!
This dress is by far the most avant garde because it is a true look into just how brilliant and vibrant the mind of a young girl can be and it’s heartwarming to see.
Each winner was sent a customised designer kit equipped with everything they needed to start working on their pieces.
Speaking to Min Luna, the girls found their confidence and personal style. On the other hand, Kittie Yiyi taught them about the fashion industry as well as helped them make the Barbie-sized versions of their designs.
Regaling us with the experience, Min Luna said, “It’s been such a special experience to spend this time with the girls during such a formative period in their lives.
“I remember struggling with confidence when I was around their age, so it has been such a rewarding opportunity to encourage and instil some confidence in them. They are all so unique and have so much to offer; it is a gift to be a part of igniting that spark within them that I hope will continue to burn bright for the rest of their lives.”
Since it was the time of the EMCO, the girls strutted their stuff in their own homes, striking poses and owning the proverbial runway. However, this did not detract any fun or novelty from the experience.
Elaine Lim said, “We are especially proud to be able to offer an avenue to unite and encourage young ones to pursue their passions while they are home. Barbie has always been an inspiration, and we believe that this experience will stay with these girls for years to come and continue to empower kids to be anything they want to be.”
It goes to show that Barbie still holds up even after all these years. She’s not just an icon of fashion but she is a role-model for young children everywhere to believe in themselves and reach for the stars.