Seeing Pink: Barbie Collabs Run Rampant as Movie Debuts 

“Barbie is one of the most inventive, immaculately crafted and surprising mainstream films in recent memory.” That’s what news outlet The Independent said in regard to the Barbie movie premier last weekend.  

But leading up to the much-awaited premiere, Barbie collaborations — both official and unofficial — seemed to pervade every corner and probably will until inventory runs out. The sheer abundance of these collaborations poses the question: Was the much-generated hype intentional? So much so that it would encourage nonofficial Barbie brands to jump on the bandwagon? 

The Barbiecore trend emerged last summer and has been steadily gaining popularity, fueled by the anticipation of the Barbie film. The hashtag #Barbiecore has amassed 613 million views on TikTok alone.  

A simple Google search for “Barbie movie” transforms the page into a vibrant pink display, complete with Google’s logo and bursting bright pink sparkles. 

Ahead of the movie’s launch, Mattel has revealed that over 100 brands are officially participating in marketing campaigns and tie-ins. Companies like Zara and Cold Stone Creamery secured licensing deals with Mattel, with co-branded products including pink gingham dresses and “All That Glitters Is Pink” ice cream flavor. 

Participating in such collaborations allows retail partners to reference the Warner Bros. “Barbie” movie and leverage its marketing materials, including the official logo and trademarked pink shade.

However, for companies that did not secure a licensing deal, they must get more creative in how they jump on the Barbie bandwagon, using subtler language and imagery to associate with the Barbie phenomenon. 

Recently, Glossier, known for its millennial pink packaging, used the movie’s “Hi Barbie” audio clip in TikTok posts, showcasing a selection of its beauty products. 

Some companies, like Zappos, took it a step further by curating a storefront featuring all their listed products that could easily be worn by Barbie. 

Here’s four of the 100 partnerships that were likely to resonate with consumers:  

Barbie x Crocs 

Footwear brand Crocs has introduced a collaboration with Barbie which showcases five  sandals and clogs, available in pink, white, and black, alongside eight exclusive ‘Barbie the Movie’ Jibbitz charms.  

At the heart of the collection is the Barbie Mega Crush Clog, which features a platform silhouette adorned with a glitter treatment and Barbie logo print. The clog is complemented by exclusive Jibbitz capturing moments from the film, such as a disco ball, roller skate, cowgirl hat, and pool float. 

Crocs has been recognized for its collaborations. Crocs President Michelle Poole has acknowledged the pivotal role of collaborations and product partnerships in their long-term strategy.  

See also: Crocs Sees 53% Growth by Meeting Consumer Demand for Casualization 

Primark x Barbie 

Fast fashion giant Primark unveiled a collection for Barbie that includes womenswear, accessories, and nightwear to menswear, home and beauty items. The collection features an exclusive Barbie print inspired by the movie. 

There are Barbie and Ken swimsuits, Barbie slogan tees, tanks and matching loungewear sets. Shoppers can find pink racer neck mini dresses, pink gingham pajama sets, and ultra-soft velour separates, all exuding the essence of Barbie. 

See also: Consumer Sentiment Sours as Inflation Looks Set for the Long Haul 

Barbie Beauty Collaborations 

OPI, the nail varnish brand, has introduced a Barbie collection showcasing a range of opaque and shimmery shades, all inspired by Barbie pink. Staying true to OPI’s style, each shade in the collection is cleverly named, reflecting the theme and essence of the movie. 

Exclusively available at Superdrug, NYX Professional Makeup has unveiled a limited-edition collection tailored for any party occasion. The collection features two credit card-sized mini shadow palettes, complemented by a collectible mini Butter Gloss keychain attachment, and a mini cheek palette containing two blushes and a highlighter. 

“The themes of empowerment and embracing inner beauty in the movie align deeply with our core values of advocating for self-expression and exploring your boldest potential,” said Yann Joffredo, global brand president of NYX Professional Makeup. 

Both of these collaborations are also timely, considering that consumers are trading down and less inclined to spend on makeup or visit nail salons as frequently. In fact, results from PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment series, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down,” revealed that 47% of shoppers have shifted to sellers that provide more competitive prices. 

Beis Travel  

Priced between $48 and $378, the Béis x Barbie collaboration showcases the travel goods brand’s essentials, all in a vibrant Barbie pink hue. The collection includes carry-on and check-in Rollers, the Mini Weekender bag, the Cosmetic Case, the Travel Wallet, and the Passport & Luggage Tag Set.  

The rolling suitcases and weekender boast a glossy finish, adding a new design element to the brand’s luggage collection. Each piece is adorned with a custom pink floral lining. Due to the demand, Barbie fans were limited to one of each item. 

The collection aligns with the demand for consumer travel. On July 13, Delta Airlines reported the highest quarterly profit and revenue in its history. 

“Premium travel is the No. 1 priority for the consumers that we target,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian, per a report by The Wall Street Journal. “They’re not interested in buying houses or cars or boats or electronics, but they are interested in traveling.” 

Read more: Delta Air Lines Revenue Soars as Consumers Still Feel Travel Bug