Actress Yara Shahidi turned to her own wardrobe for inspiration while creating the outfit worn by her new Barbie.
The Grown-ish star’s likeness was used as part of a new line of dolls, crafted to empower and inspire young women.
The release coincides with the launch of the Barbie Dream Gap Project, a global initiative to aid girls in their path to reaching their full potential, and when it came to choosing what her doll would be wearing, the 19 year old felt it was important to stay true to her own style preferences.
“I live in suits, it’s one of my favourite looks,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar. “I love wearing a suit, and so this was actually designed off of one that I wore a while back.”
Shahidi also made sure to promote voting by creating a ‘Vote’ shirt for the toy.
She also used the venture as a way of promoting the casual and comfortable pieces she favours: “It’s what I feel most comfortable in too,” she adds. “Even though it seems like ‘formal wear’ to be in what I view as my daily uniform.”
Yara is also excited to have a doll that captures her hair and makeup style.
“There’s so many things about it that are just so Yara, from the ‘Vote’ t-shirt to my hair – we actually have the same baby hairs today – to the makeup and eyebrows,” she says. “To see something that accurately portrays who I am is very cool.”
The Barbie Dream Gap Project, which also features model and activist Adwoa Aboah and tennis player Naomi Osaka, has given Shahidi a chance to work alongside women who have inspired her.
“What’s very cool is I can genuinely turn to so many of the women that are in this (Barbie) collection of people who have inspired me,” she says. “I mean, Adwoa (Aboah) is incredible and I’ve been so fortunate to not only work alongside her, but to be in conversation with her.”
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