by Tanya Dua
Originally published: March 29, 2016
When Mattel’s highly anticipated limited-edition Moschino Barbie hit the shelves last November, the collection sold out in less than an hour. But far more groundbreaking than the sales was the video that promoted the collaboration between Barbie and the Italian fashion house.
For the first time in 56 years, the face of the Mattel brand was a little boy with a blond faux-hawk. “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” he says as he holds Moschino Barbie’s purse, giving the camera a cheeky little wink. The video has since amassed over 3 million views and nearly 4,000 comments on YouTube.
Barbie is far from the only brand breaking gender stereotypes, embracing ambiguity in its advertising. Spanish retail giant Zara unveiled a gender-neutral line earlier this month. Disney removed gender labels from its Halloween costumes last October, and both Target and Toys “R” Us have also done away with gender-based labeling in their stores on toys and decor. In luxury fashion, brands from Rad Hourani to Gucci and Marc Jacobs to Hermès are blurring the divide between feminine and masculine style.