The bright lights fade, and all heads turn toward the nightclub stage. Manhattan’s creative elite have gathered to experience the legendary talent of singer Claudette Gordon™. A hush falls over the room as she steps into the spotlight. Wearing a spectacular Jazz Age outfit, this radiant, sparkling-eyed beauty dazzles the crowd with her heartfelt performance!
With the introduction of Claudette Gordon™ Barbie® Doll, designer Carlyle Nuera takes center stage as well. Claudette marks the premiere of Nuera’s first full collection — the new Harlem Theatre™ Collection — following his auspicious debut with the Global Glamour™ Mutya™ Barbie® Doll.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be considered amongst the other Barbie Collection designers,” Nuera tells us, “and to interact with the Barbie Collector community.”
Nuera came up with the concept for his Harlem Theatre™ Collection after observing the influence of 1920s fashion on modern-day culture and media. “Rihanna at last year’s CFDA Awards in her famous Swarovski gown was referencing Diana Ross in the 1970s, who in turn was referencing Josephine Baker from the 1920s,” he explains. “The red carpet at last year’s Met Gala was lush with ’20s-inspired embellishments and silhouettes, as worn by Lupita Nyong’o, Gabrielle Union, and Solange. The reboot of The Great Gatsby inspired an entire ’20s art deco runway collection from Gucci.”
Nuera then researched the Harlem Renaissance — an explosion of artistic and cultural expression led by influential musicians, writers, painters, photographers, and poets. His design for Claudette Gordon™ Barbie® Doll captures all the glamour and artistry of that remarkable period, from her sleeveless, drop-waist dress with embroidered peacock feather design to her charming, vintage-perfect accessories.
The audience at this year’s Barbie® Convention was also wowed. “When I revealed the name of the series and showed the first image of Claudette Gordon, I heard the audience gasp,” Nuera says. “When I said she’s fully articulated, I heard a roar and felt the room swell. It was incredible and visceral. I am so happy that Barbie Collectors love the Harlem Theatre series and Claudette Gordon Barbie!”
There will be even more to love, as Nuera finishes work on the rest of his collection. He promises more rich colors, fabrics, and textures that evoke the time period. “I've designed the next doll in the series, and I am so excited for her,” he says. “She will definitely be something bold and different.”
He also teases the possibility of a male doll in the collection. “I think a male doll would add an interesting dynamic to the narrative of the series and give me an opportunity to dive into 1920s men’s fashion. We shall see!”
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