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Ten Personal Questions for Five Barbie® Signature Doll Designers!

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If you’ve followed Barbie® Signature for any length of time, you’re familiar with designers like Robert Best, Bill Greening, Linda Kyaw, and Carlyle Nuera. But they’re not the only talented people designing Barbie® dolls for adult collectors!

You may not be as familiar with Amy Lee, Lauri Sipos, Connie Tsai, Kelley Lindberg and Caroline DeMersseman, so we thought you’d like to get to know them a little better!

We posed ten questions to them about their background, their fashion sensibilities, things they love about Barbie® dolls old and new, and much more. Enjoy!

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Amy Lee

How long have you been working at Mattel?

Twelve years.

What are some of your recent Barbie® doll projects?

Mermaid Enchantress™ Doll, most of the Dreamtopia dolls/playsets including Royal Ball Princess™, Sparkle Lights Mermaid, and Brush ‘n Sparkle Unicorn.

Where did you go for education/training in fashion design?

Otis College of Art and Design/ BA -Fashion Design.

Who are some of your favorite real-world fashion designers?

Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta, Jeremy Scott.

What was your favorite Barbie® doll growing up?

Twirly Curl Barbie.

How would you describe your design sensibility in three words?

Fun, colorful, glittery.

Favorite Barbie® hair color: Blonde, brunette, or redhead?

All – and fantasy colors.

What’s your favorite Barbie® accessory to create?

Princess tiaras.

What doll designs of yours are you the most proud of?

OOAK Katy Perry doll, Mermaid Enchantress™, Computer Engineer Barbie®.

If you could share one message with Barbie® doll collectors, what would it be?

Enjoy every moment.

 

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Lauri Sipos

How long have you been working at Mattel?

I’ve been at Mattel now for over 16 years.

What are some of your recent Barbie® doll projects?

I work on several at a time, including a line of dolls for Walmart to be released in 2019. I worked on the Faraway Forest™ Collection, and graphics for Barbie® Dreamhouse™ and Townhouse.

Where did you go for education/training in fashion design?

I grew up as a painter/daughter of an artist. I graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a degree in illustration.

Who are some of your favorite real-world fashion designers?

As a designer, YSL, Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten. But as a mom, Levi's is my go-to, haha.

What was your favorite Barbie® doll growing up?

Superstar Barbie™ was my favorite. I saw the commercial with Barbie® stroking her long hair back, wearing a diamond ring and necklace. I thought it was so glamorous. I loved it! I got her for my birthday one year. I’ll never forget dressing and playing with that doll. Wrapping the stole, buckling the shoes … so fun!

How would you describe your design sensibility in three words?

Sweet, realistic, fun.

Favorite Barbie® hair color: Blonde, brunette, or redhead?

I actually like it when a Barbie® doll’s hair is black. It’s so dramatic and shiny.

What’s your favorite Barbie® accessory to create?

I like to design shoes. I love the challenge of making them look very real for tiny feet. I also enjoy working on difficult things that might have to snap together or have a function, like armor or furniture.

What doll design of yours are you the most proud of?

I’ll always be proud of the challenging designs. For instance, the hair accessories for the Byron Lars dolls. We get these beautiful fashion sketches from real-life fashion designers, and they have a vision and it’s our job to make it into a beautiful doll. I had to figure out how to have Barbie® doll’s hairstyle as an actual beautiful bird cage with a bird on a swing, and make it feasible for production as well as withstand our packaging tests. And another Byron Lars doll had a hairstyle like a dreamcatcher. Those were pretty cool.

If you could share one message with Barbie® doll collectors, what would it be?

In a landscape where wholesome goodness and beauty can be hard to find, Barbie® will never let you down. I love working for her! I hope folks can see that in our designs.

 

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Connie Tsai

How long have you been working at Mattel?

A little over 18 years.

What are some of your recent Barbie® doll projects?

I designed the 2018 Ballet Wishes® Barbie® Doll, the new athletic body and armor/accessories interpretation for the Wonder Woman™ and Justice League™ dolls, and the accessories and textile art for the Barbie® Hello Kitty® Doll.

Where did you go for education/training in fashion design?

My training is in Illustration at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.

Who are some of your favorite real-world fashion designers?

Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg.

What was your favorite Barbie® doll growing up?

Sunsational Malibu P.J.™ Doll. She wore a cute green swimsuit with beaded ponytails and mirrored sunglasses. I loved the Steffie face mold with the purple eyes. 

How would you describe your design sensibility in three words?

Fun, quirky, detail-focused.

Favorite Barbie® hair color: Blonde, brunette, or redhead?

Vintage Lemon Blonde.

What’s your favorite Barbie® accessory to create?

I love to design her jewelry – I’ve been designing and constructing jewelry as a hobby even before I started my career at Mattel.

What doll design of yours are you the most proud of?

It’s hard to pinpoint one favorite, as I’ve designed so many things over the last 18+ years, but I’d say I’m most proud of designing the jewelry for the Barbie® Fashion Model Collection dolls, which I’ve been doing since 2003.

If you could share one message with Barbie doll collectors, what would it be? 

It is such a joy to be able to create for the wonderful, diverse group of people who make up the Barbie® collecting community.

 

 

Caroline DeMersseman

How long have you been working at Mattel?

I was hired full time in 1996. I also temped a bit in 1994 and 1995.

What are some of your recent Barbie® doll projects?

I’ve been managing the teams that design Career dolls and Dreamtopia Dolls; before that I worked on Fashionistas®. Most recently I’ve returned to designing full time with the Barbie® 60th Celebration Doll in the white gown and plenty more in the works.

Where did you go for education/training in fashion design?

Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After school I worked for Guess Inc. as a menswear designer before coming to work for Mattel.

Who are some of your favorite real-world fashion designers?

Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Chanel, Ellie Saab.

What was your favorite Barbie® doll growing up?

Malibu Barbie®.

How would you describe your design sensibility in three words?

Classic with edge.

Favorite Barbie® hair color: Blonde, brunette, or redhead?

Blonde.

What’s your favorite Barbie® accessory to create?

Shoes!

What doll design of yours are you the most proud of?

I’m proud to have been part of the team that created the new diverse bodies and additional skin tones for Barbie®.

If you could share one message with Barbie® doll collectors, what would it be?

Thank you for your passion!

 

 

Kelley Lindberg

How long have you been working at Mattel?

Close to five and a half years.

What are some of your recent Barbie® doll projects?

Graduation Day Barbie® Doll, Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll.

Where did you go for education/training in fashion design?

FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in downtown Los Angeles.

Who are some of your favorite real-world fashion designers?

Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Isabel Marant, Saint Laurent.

What was your favorite Barbie® doll growing up?

Crystal Barbie™ Doll, I thought the fabric of her dress was the coolest and still do!

How would you describe your design sensibility in three words?

Graphic, fun, and with a little edge.

Favorite Barbie® hair color: Blonde, brunette, or redhead?

Brunette, I’m biased.

What’s your favorite Barbie® accessory to create?

Sunglasses.

What doll design of yours are you the most proud of?

Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll.

If you could share one message with Barbie® doll collectors, what would it be?

Have fun and think young. Stay true to who you are.

 

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CAROLMAD1572384096

Posted

Excellent article, it's a nice way to get to know some of the talented designers at Mattel.

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NORMAL1572377446

Posted

I enjoyed learning about the designers and their areas of expertise.

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Cenilla1572372776

Posted

let's see new dolls.

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venusgoddess

Posted

I just hope they keep the passion and Glamour of Barbie alive

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npaytonweaver1572392940

Posted

Great I hope they enjoy their work

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Emeraldhaw1572387420

Posted

It is wonderful to hear about Mattel's new designers for our wonderful BARBIE and her friends and family.

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NELLYONEDREAM1572400183

Posted

Nice to meet you :D

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