By Allen Voivod
Inspired by original concept art from Star Wars: A New Hope, the Star Wars™ X Barbie® Collection puts a high-fashion twist on iconic characters! In this exclusive interview, Robert Best talks about his love for Star Wars, design challenges, and shares his experience in binging this new collection to life.
What was particularly exciting or unique about this collaboration for you?
The unique aspects of this come from the collaboration of two unique icons that truly stand alone. Barbie and Star Wars are cultural phenomena like no others and so it’s exciting to bring these two worlds together. I also think it might be an unexpected collaboration and I love that.
The character of R2-D2 is instantly recognizable. What are some of the more subtle ways you integrated elements of the droid's design into the doll’s fashion?
Barbie doll’s hair and make-up firstly are a fun, subtle nod to the signature shapes and colors that fans of R2-D2 will recognize. Her belt is a very specific R2-D2 element that immediately stands out. The silver lining of the puffer vest is also a nice detail.
With the Leia-inspired doll, how did you approach the task of designing a look that’s fresh, yet honors the original, since the movie costume and hairstyle are so indelibly iconic?
With the look inspired by Princess Leia, I knew that keeping the signature elements would be important and the challenge was making them different enough where it didn’t feel like a costume or a strict recreation. I also wanted to make sure Leia's confidence shined through. I took the hairstyle (that might be one of the most recognizable of all time) and added braids and volume as well as lowering the placement. For the gown I really wanted to amp up the glamour but still keep it relatively clean & simple. We created a stunning white gown with dramatic cape-like sleeves, highlighted with the silver corset belt, necklace and cuffs adding a cool touch of shine and texture.
Darth Vader’s movie costume is actually a suit of life-supporting armor and cybernetics. How did that fact change, enhance, and/or limit your approach to the doll’s couture design?
While these details are interesting and relevant to the characters in the narrative related to the films, when you're creating a look “inspired by,” the purpose is to capture the essence of the character and include notable details. Then, it becomes more about what the costume and its narrative purpose represents emotionally, and finding a way to convey that through fashion.
What do you think fans of Star Wars and Barbie will be most excited about?
As a fan of both myself – my hope is that fans will share the excitement and joy that I had when creating these dolls from this unique and amazing collaboration. For me personally – this was definitely a dream collaboration and I hope that comes through to the fans.
© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.