Barbie just released a line of six dolls in “streetwear-influenced” lewks in celebration of the brand’s 60th anniversary, and while I have some very pressing questions I must admit, this is a serve. The dolls—four Barbies and two Kens, all designed by Carlyle Nuera—are dressed in “high-low fashion mixes, re-imagined ‘90s gear, [and] juxtaposed patterns” all of which combined to whisper to me “ya basic!” These Barbies looks like they just stumbled out of an unannounced NYFW show in the loading dock of Katz’s Deli and are on their way to a secret afterparty thrown by Jeremy O. Harris and Tilda Swinton. Do I understand these lewks? Absolutely not. Do I know where the street the wear is named after? Google Maps says “you tried it.” Nevertheless, I’m obsessed.
Though they all fall under the BMR1959 Collection moniker, none of the dolls was given a specific design name, so I’ve taken the liberty of coming up with names for all of them and sketched out a simple profile like a confused Law & Order detective sent downtown to investigate a new party drug called “FlimFlam Sauce.”
As we all know, Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts (this information is on the U.S. Citizenship Exam), but this Barbie goes by Milli for short or One Milli on her Soundcloud. You would think that her knee-length braids would make her day job as a bike messenger difficult but you would be underestimating One Milli, who moonlights as the lead singer in a funk band and also did some background work on the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It. Speaking of the knees, though, we have to talk: they are bendable, as are the ankles which is, frankly, terrifying me. Why? Why this? Why? I don’t need a Barbie that can wiggle her foot in my general direction. No thank you to this. But yes thank you to the casual serve from One Milli, whose fannypack definitely contains a CBD vape pen, ads for her band that she got off of Vistaprint, and a phone with a notification from the Co-Star app.
Okay. This Barbie goes by BabZ and she is a lot. First of all, her hair takes two hours to tease out, every time. No exceptions. Please do not call BabZ with last-minute plans. She will RSVP “not on your life!” What exactly is she wearing? Some would say it’s like a straitjacket from an asylum inside of a former Chuck E. Cheese. BabZ would say it looks like roughly 6,000 Euros. (BabZ does not speak of American currency. Ever.) What does BabZ do for work? BabZ will proudly tell you that she is a scammer. She’s shopping a memoir.
This is Barbara and she somehow exists in the present but is also a high-powered magazine editor on a 90s sitcom. She’s got a hoodie dress on underneath a clear plastic coat so you know she is very warm but that’s okay because she is also anemic and she is managing that. Barbara lets off steam from her stressful job by playing in a roller derby league where her name is Ida B. Welts. She is extremely good at it. Also, please feast your eyes upon her baby hairs!
This is Ms. Roberts to you and to your friends and to everyone you know. No one knows her first name and it’s a subject of much conversation. She runs a gallery and, yes, she knows Keanu Reeves personally and, no, unfortunately she cannot introduce you and, no, she will not confirm the rumor that they dated and, yes, when she is caught in a moment of reminisce she slips up and calls him Ke but you needn’t read anything into that. She spends half the year in a cabin in Montana and no, she will not tell you where in Montana it is.
Look at Kenneth in his little shorter-alls and boots! Kenneth was deeply influenced by “Can’t Take Me Home”-era P!nk and also Lori Petty in Tank Girl. Kenneth is about 10 years older than you think he is but you would never know. Kenneth left that Dream House in Malibu *redacted* years ago and never looked back!
Kenneth is wearing a full face from Fenty Beauty including a shimmering lip, a killer brow, and a hot pink eyeshadow. When asked what he does for a living Kenneth answered “public personality,” which I didn’t think was a thing, but what do I know?
In the immortal words of Tiffany “New York” Pollard, “Oh no. Not you. Not you!” Bunhead Ken makes his unwelcome return, two years after first debuting in Barbie’s Hipster Ken line and he is trying something new! Sliders! For standing on my last nerve! Huge clear glasses! For fairly to read the room! An oversized parka! To brace against my chilly reception! And a crossbody fannypack with absolutely nothing in it. Not a thing. Ken, you are really trying it with me Ken. I can’t have this conversation with you again. Shorts?! In October! KEN!