China Doll: Guo Pei Designs Lunar New Year Barbie - The Scene

Life in plastic, it’s Asiatic.

China’s first and only officially recognized couturier, Guo Pei, has partnered with toy company Mattel to design the Barbie Lunar New Year Doll.

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The collectible doll wears a traditional Chinese dress in red, symbolizing good fortune and abundance. Its look is completed and complemented by phoenix-themed accessories.

Featuring Guo Pei’s signature embroidery detailing, the garment contains golden phoenixes representing femininity and grace, along with water and wave motifs symbolizing wealth, nourishment, and resilience.

Mattel tapped senior product designer Joyce Chen to realize the vision of Guo Pei, who was a very active partner in the process.

“Guo Pei personally sent the Barbie team a few different sketch designs, and together we narrowed down on the one we both felt reflected and honored the Lunar New Year holiday the best,” Chen said in a Mattel blog post.

These detailed sketches included the hair accessory, shoes, and embroidery, which were all used as references for the final product.

Most prominent among the accessories, according to Chen, is the gold hairpiece sculpted in the shape of a phoenix, which was the main design theme for the doll. This motif was consistent throughout the design of the dress. 

Lastly, China’s most renowned couturier chose the Mari face sculpt as her favorite to use for the design. This inspired a new makeup palette altogether, with face paint being created in reference to the sketches that Guo Pei’s team sent.

The Barbie Lunar New Year Doll comes in special packaging that features an extruded window that stands out from the box, lets more light in, and highlights the doll.

“Guo Pei is known for her beautiful pattern design, and we wanted to celebrate this by using it all over the packaging. And to give it a touch of luxe, we added some golden accent foil,” senior packaging designer Laydiana Chiv said.

Released on January 24, the doll retails for $75 with purchases limited to three per user. It includes a doll stand and a certificate of authenticity.

“With best wishes for the new year, may Barbie Lunar New Year Doll and Guo Pei’s dazzling artistry bring joy to many holiday celebrations,” Mattel concluded.

Photos by Mattel

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