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Holiday Barbie Dolls: An Interview with Linda Kyaw

By Allen Voivod

An annual tradition has been renewed in a spectacularly glamorous creation! The Holiday Barbie™ Dolls form the longest running active series in the history of The Barbie™ Collection. To learn more about the 2015 Holiday Barbie™ Dolls, we interviewed this year’s doll designer, Linda Kyaw.

There have been so many beautiful Holiday dolls throughout the years. What did you do to make this doll stand out? What were your inspirations?

With a rich history like the Holiday Doll collection, it certainly is difficult to do something that has not been done. I’ve always been drawn to ornate jewelry, and saw an opportunity to include that as part of the actual dress vs. just using as standard jewelry. The silvery piece on her bodice explores that idea beautifully, making her truly a unique addition to the collection.

How many Holiday dolls have you designed so far, and how is the Holiday Doll process different from designing/creating other Barbie™ Collection dolls?

The Holiday Doll is one of the most challenging dolls in the line. This lovely lady will be my third contribution.

The process is the same for the most part. The difference comes when you apply an overarching theme around the whole process, because this doll is one of the most high-profile ones. The concept, developing of the muslin, working with patternmakers, etc., doesn’t change. With the addition of the high-profile theme, a designer has to add extra time in for additional rounds of approvals. For instance a normal doll will take about 1-2 rounds of approval. The Holiday Doll will take about 7-10 or more.

This doll is coveted honor to work on, and any designer will be lucky enough to have designed it once.

When were you first aware of Barbie Holiday dolls? Was it while you were at Mattel, or before?

Being a true Barbie fan that actually played with Barbie dolls when I was younger, I remember her when I was quite young. I was in Sears with my mom, and remember looking up at the most beautiful doll I had ever seen in the world. The year was 1987, and she looked like a shining beacon in a sea of simple dolls. I was so impressed of all the detailing even at that age. I remember seeing the tiny rhinestones on her purse, and thinking “So this is what happiness is!”

What kind of collector feedback about Holiday Dolls stands out in your mind?

The feedback that stands out for me is how people have been collecting the line ever since it began. How every year they wait to see when the doll is revealed, and then display proudly during the Holiday season. This line truly is a cross-generational doll, one that you truly feel honored to be able to leave a small footprint on. What can be better than to have a little contribution to being a part of someone’s holiday tradition?

When you imagine someone about to buy the Holiday Doll, what do you hope they have in mind for it?

This doll means different things to different people of all ages, backgrounds, genders, etc. All are equally relevant and important.

Whoever they are, I hope simply that it brings them a moment of joy & beauty. I think the best thing about joy & beauty is that you can have it for yourself and you immediately want to share it with others. I hope this is one of those special gifts that can do that for people. Hopefully the moment of happiness will resonate when you have the doll, you will then share it with others, and have then same exact experience 12 months later on. :)

How long have you been collecting Holiday Barbie dolls? Share your memories in the comments. And if you haven’t gotten your Holiday Barbie Doll yet, get her right now!

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