BARBIE THE ICON by Massimiliano Capella


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One Barbie doll is sold every three seconds somewhere around the world. Since her inception in 1959, the iconic doll has taken the toy industry by storm. BARBIE THE ICON is the definitive collection of one of the most legendary figures in history and pop culture. This book celebrates Barbie as phenomenon, one that has spanned over three generations and showcases Barbie’s various incarnations over time.

In this gorgeous compendium, which includes a ribbon marker and acetate jacket, we see the evolution of Barbie interspersed with historically and culturally significant world events, such as the first woman astronaut entering space in 1963, or the first woman running for president in 1984. Over time, Barbie has taken on nearly 150 professions and represented more than 40 different nationalities. Fashionwise, she has collaborated with over 75 designers, including Valentino, Versace, Dior, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Prada, and Givenchy. As it unfolds, BARBIE THE ICON unpacks Barbie’s magical ability to appeal to all.

Both curator and scholar in the field of art and fashion, the author captures this icon’s ability to tear down cultural, social, and linguistic barriers and build popular collaborations worldwide. Organized into five sections, the book explores one character’s ability to grow and inspire individuals around the globe. This carefully composed encyclopedia serves as a comprehensive guide to Barbie and our world over time, as well as a reference for Barbie aficionados everywhere.

Massimiliano Capella, is an art and fashion historian, and a professor of the History of Fashion at University of Bergamo. He has also written numerous books about theater, fashion, and costume, including Versace. The Genius of Fashion and Art (Mazzotta), Italian Excellence: Art, Fashion and Taste in the Advertising Icons (Silvana), Il Teatro Degli Artisti (Silvana), Style on Stage (Art DECO), and Roberto Capucci. La ricerca della regalità (Allemandi).

ISBN: 978-1-943876-11-2
208 pages,9.8” x 12.6” hardcover w/acetate jacket and ribbon marker with dangler
336 4-color artworks 


Massimiliano Capella