PSST: Here's a Deacon Sneak Peek of the article running later today on Washingtonian.com. There's VIDEO to accompany that piece, but we've got photos, below:
Pink isn’t just for Wednesdays, a la Mean Girls, but for all year round – if you’re a Barbie fanatic, that is. More than 1,000 collectors, enthusiasts, and doll industry professionals have descended on the Marriott Wardman Park in Woodley Park this week for the National Barbie Convention, which this year marks the doll’s 50th Anniversary in production.
This annual convention, held in a different city each year, takes on special meaning for Barbie’s half-century anniversary. In addition to a full-scale runway show at New York fashion week, featuring designs by names like Christian Louboutin, Diane Von Furstenberg and Philip Lim, Mattel partnered with designer Jonathan Adler earlier this year to launch a full-scale Barbie dream house in Malibu.
The convention features life-size memorabilia from both events, including hot pink custom Louboutins, a life size Barbie doll in the “Generations of Dreams” dress, designed by a Project Runway contestant, a white and black diamond Barbie valued at $48,000 and human-sized transportation including pink and white crystal studded bike and a hot pink Volkswagen convertible, complete with Swarovski crystal interior décor by West Coast Customs.
The convention opens to the public for one day only on Saturday, where for only $7, participants can enjoy the “Sales Room,” featuring limited-edition and vintage Barbies and accessories for sale as well as current collaborations, with prices ranging from around $30 to as much as $1000+. A silent auction room features designer gowns and limited-edition dolls. Dylans Candy Bar, a NYC fave, has a hot pink candy station set up, and of course, the aforementioned memorabilia is scattered throughout the convention site.
To blend in, we’d suggest you wear pink – of any form, and come prepared to discuss your favorite childhood Barbie. Of course, you can always impress with your knowledge of fun facts, too:
Did you know?
- Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, who was inspired by her daughter Barbara’s fascination with teenage life and love of paper dolls. The doll was unveiled to the public on March 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair as “Barbie® the Teen-Age Fashion Model.”
- Barbie’s real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she hails from Willows, Wisconsin.
- The best-selling Barbie of all time was 1992’s “Totally Hair” Barbie, who had hair down to her toes.
- Barbie has been outfitted by more than 70 famous couturiers and 146 fashion designers.
- 15 fine artists work on each doll.
- For several decades, Barbie lacked a belly button.
- Barbie has had more than 100 careers, including American Airlines Flight Attendant (1961), Professional WNBA Basketball Player (1998), and American Idol Winner (2005).
- Barbie has a host of friends, including on/off boyfriend Ken, Midge (best friend), Skipper/Tutti/Stacie/Kelly/Krissy (sisters), Todd (brother), MOD Francie/Jazzie (cousins). She also has gal pals Christie, Theresa, Kira, Kayla and Becky.
- In 2004, Barbie created national headlines by breaking up with Ken after 43 years. Supposedly, he wants her back.
- The first Barbie cost only $3. (Psst, the second Barbie ever made is at the convention too – see if you can spot her!)
- 300,000 Barbies were sold in the first year.
- Barbie dolls represent more than 50 different nationalities.
- The most expensive Barbie sold to date went at auction for $27,450