View this post on Instagram
The release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, starring Margot Robbie as the titular doll, is still more than a year away. But the hot pink, hyper-feminine look the iconic doll is known for has already begun trending in fashion. The aesthetic has been dubbed “Barbiecore” and it’s taking over both runways and timelines this year.
But what classifies as Barbiecore? Key elements of look include pink–a lot of it, short hemlines that show a lot of leg, sky-high heels, and even higher ponytails. The goal of all this is to look tall, thin, and a little bit plastic, never mind the fact that Barbie is noted for her unrealistic body image.
Driving the trend is the onslaught of news and photos coming out of the Barbie film set, which started production in March. Set photos of Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken have gone viral in recent weeks, despite how little is known about the actual film. Details of the film’s plot are being kept top secret, but the main theory is that the film will feature multiple Barbies. The cast includes Issa Rae and Hari Nef, who will likely be caught up in some kind of multiverse narrative. As of now, all that’s known is that Robbie looks the part as Barbie, and it’s inspiring looks everywhere.
Perhaps coincidentally, a handful of recent collections from designers like Valentino, Balenciaga and Versace are also contributing to the aesthetic’s popularity. This was on full display earlier this month at the Valentino Fall 2022 Couture show, where Anne Hathaway and Florence Pugh made headlines for their hot pink front row looks from Valentino’s previous collection. Hathaway, wearing a sparkly mini dress, matching bag and chunky skyscraper heels looked so much like a Barbie that the internet joked she’d been cast in the upcoming film.
In early June, Kim Kardashian took to Instagram to post a series of photos of her in a custom all-pink Balenciaga look. Paired with her newly dyed blonde hair, the look certainly falls under Barbiecore. Other celebrities who have recently hopped on the trend include Hailey Bieber, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, and Doja Cat. The trend impacted everyday consumers as well, with Etsy searches for “Barbiecore” up 35% in the last three months, according to ABC News.
But what is it about Barbiecore that’s causing it to catch on so strongly? It could be that Barbie is timeless and appeals to all ages and socioeconomic demographics. Put together fashion’s recent embrace of diverse backgrounds and body types, with the universality of the Barbie brand, and you have an incredibly easy trend to latch onto. Or it could simply be that Barbie is a familiar and fun character to mimic, especially in the summer months. The July 2023 release of the Barbie film is guaranteed to be an event, but time will tell if the Barbiecore trend can survive that long. By the time the first ever Barbie movie hits our screens, we may very well be tired of all that pink.