A doll released on Aug. 24, honoring America’s first self-made female millionaire, has already sold out on Barbie’s website.
The collectible, a part of Barbie’s “Inspiring Women Series,” pays tribute to Black entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker.
The likeness dons a full-length, A-line teal skirt, a purple floral blouse with white and ruffle detailing and white drop earrings.
Its hair showcases a middle-part hairstyle decorated with a wrap-around crown braid on the center of the doll’s head and a puff of curls in the back.
“Some of Walker’s favorite colors included rich purples and turquoises, so that’s what I put her in,” explained designer Carlyle Nuera.
“I wanted to capture Walker in a time in her life where she was selling her Wonderful Hair Grower, at public meetings and private home demonstrations – the true spirit of self-made,” the designer added.
Walker — who’s also revered as a philanthropist and activist — is most known for her pioneering haircare and cosmetics products.
With that in mind, each collectible comes complete with a “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower” accessory.
Bringing The Madam C.J. Walker Barbie To Life
A PR representative shared with MADAMENOIRE that Barbie’s designers relied on “rare photos and cultural insight about styles and beauty standards of the time” to inform them on how to replicate Walker’s likeness.
Barbie additionally utilized the help of Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, to shed light on the entrepreneur’s personal preferences.
“It was a joy to work with Barbie on the design and creation of an Inspiring Women doll made in the likeness of my great-great grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker. Their design team graciously welcomed me throughout all steps of the process — from hair development to packaging — to capture and celebrate the legacy of this trailblazing Black businesswoman,” said Bundles. “I can’t wait for a new generation to be inspired by her story and to tell their own stories through a role model who came before them.”
Lisa McKnight, Mattel Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, added:
“As a pioneer in entrepreneurship, philanthropy and activism, creating the blueprint for the self-made American businesswoman and innovators of the twentieth century, Madam C.J. Walker is an embodiment of our Barbie Inspiring Women series. We’re honored to welcome her into this group of trailblazing women and introduce more kids to her journey of becoming one of the nation’s first widely successful female founders.”
If you’re interested, the Madam C.J. Walker Barbie Inspiring Women Doll is still available via Walmart and Amazon.