September 20, 2020

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They Drink Fashion

New Barbie Collection Via American Retro, Pop Culture-Inspired Stitch Shoppe

2 min read

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Stitch Shoppe by Loungefly has collaborated with Disney, Coca-Cola and Pixar. Now the California-based company — which specializes in retro, pop culture-inspired apparel and accessories for adults — is turning its attention to Barbie, offering a size-inclusive line, out July 31.

“We love that Barbie has taken some really, really bold moves in the market in terms of diversity in their dolls and body positivity,” said Liz DeSilva, vice president of creative for Loungefly, which is owned by licensed collectibles manufacturer Funko. “The brand messaging really aligns with what Stitch Shoppe stands for. We want to create inclusive collections for all shapes and sizes.”

Sizes range from small to 4XL, featuring pastel-colored dresses, skirts and tops in light fabrics, as well as Barbie-like handbags. Items cost between $25 and $125.

“With a shared history of celebrating fashion and inclusivity, teaming up with Loungefly to introduce the Barbie Stitch Shoppe collection gave us a new opportunity to bring our fans vintage-inspired and iconic Barbie apparel and accessories,” said Diane Reichenberger, vice president of consumer products for Mattel. “The collection pays tribute to Barbie trends seen throughout her over 60-year history, including nods to the original Chevron bathing suit Barbie debuted in 1959 and classic palm trees, synonymous with Barbie’s Malibu roots.”

The collection was originally scheduled to launch in April on “dapper day” at Disneyland, said DeSilva. Plans changed due to closures and the effects of COVID-19. And while goods are designed in Los Angeles, they’re made in China, which impacted business.

“COVID-19 definitely changed the entire plan for the year,” continued DeSilva. “It’s definitely been a challenge and created some pretty serious delays. We’ve launched quite a few collections in a small window of time due to everything…Most of our delays now are from the holdups back in January through April. That set us back. In terms of where they’re at now, our warehouses and factories are at a good place today. Our warehouses are up and running and at full speed right now.”

While offering Fifties-inspired looks, the company focused on modernizing the styles by shortening lengths and using stretch fabrics for comfort. Like many of Loungefly’s endeavors, there’s also an element of collectability; the line has a limited run of 600 pieces per style and includes an “exclusive” pin with every item.

“We have a ton of avid pin collectors,” said DeSilva. “It’s a very big thing with our fanbase. We thought it was a unique way we hadn’t seen in the market to make apparel collectible. And we see with our bags, when we do limited runs, how special it makes those bags. It really drives the collectability and interest from fans.”

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