By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
The fashion retailer Forever 21 has launched a new collaboration with Barbie, creating physical and virtual fashion lines for summer.
Co-designed by Mattel and Forever 21, the Forever 21 x Barbie exclusive capsule was available for early access shopping on the Forever 21 mobile app on May 16, and hit the shelves at select Forever 21 retail stores, Forever21.com and virtually on Roblox starting on May 18.
Forever 21 made its original foray into metaverse fashion in a partnership with Virtual Brand Group, which launched a highly successful virtual world on the Roblox platform. Part of that campaign included an initial partnership with Barbie, in which outfits could be created both for a fan’s Barbie and for the consumer.
Virtual Brand Group (VBG) is an award-winning metaverse pioneer transforming global brands into virtual businesses. VBGbuilds, markets and operates games, avatar fashion, brand sponsorships and web3 loyalty programs in partnership with intellectual property across entertainment, fashion, sports, beauty and lifestyle. The company has partnered with iconic brands, including Forever 21, Barbie, NBC and The Voice singing competition, in 145 territories. Licensing International also awarded the company “Best Digital Licensed Product,” for its work building Forever21’s Shop City program on Roblox.
The Forever 21 x Barbie collection is a far more extensive collaboration, featuring a stunning array of 76 pieces across a diverse range of categories, including logo tees, sweatshirts, swimwear, sleepwear, denim shorts, vests, and jackets.
Anchored in the iconic Barbie pink hue and complemented by subtle accents of light pink, white, and gray, the collection showcases an array of fashion styles. From sporty pink pieces in Forever 21’s best-selling silhouettes to denim garments embellished with sequins and bold dresses that make a statement, the collection offers a wide range of products for the brands’ fashion-savvy audience.
“We’re thrilled to reintroduce Barbie to Forever 21 and embrace the growing Barbiecore trend that our customers adore,” said Winnie Park, CEO of Forever 21. “This captivating collection offers a variety of collectible pieces that perfectly embody our signature trend-forward aesthetic, all while paying homage to the iconic Barbie brand—and at an incredible value. We can’t wait for our fans to experience this must-have collection!”
The Forever 21 x Barbie collection showcases expanded sleep apparel, footwear, and fashion bags. Novelty non-apparel items also capture the active-lifestyle spirit of Barbie, such as a rhinestone-encrusted water bottle. Women’s apparel sizes range from XS-XL, plus 0X-3X and kids 5/6-13/14. The collection is affordable, with prices ranging from $19.99 to $59.99.
Additionally, Forever 21, in partnership with Virtual Brand Group (VBG), has created an AI-designed virtual Forever 21 x Barbie fashion collection available exclusively on Roblox. The brand’s unique metaverse experience Shop City on Roblox allows visitors to build and operate their own fashion store.
The virtual collection will mirror the in-store assortment and offer metaverse-exclusive Forever 21 x Barbie designs that include colorful summer-themed formal and streetwear lines, each with radical fabric combinations. A portion of the virtual collection will only be available as a limited edition and all visitors of the experience on Roblox will have an opportunity to claim free Forever 21 x Barbie fashion surprises.
“Virtual fashion is an important part of meeting consumers everywhere they are,” said Jacob Hawkins, Chief Marketing, Omni and Digital officer, Forever 21. “This one-of-a-kind Metaverse Barbie collaboration between Forever 21, Mattel and Virtual Brand Group is at the forefront of bringing physical and virtual products together.”