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Why Luxury Retailers Are Paying Attention To Barbiecore

2 min read

What is Barbiecore, and why have luxury brands been paying attention? 

This trend is all about embracing the bright pinks, pastels, and sparkles that are synonymous with the iconic doll. Barbiecore fashion is characterized by its playful, feminine, and often kitschy aesthetic. Think hot pink miniskirts, halter tops, and platform sandals. The lead-up to the release of the live-action Barbie movie, announced in 2022, drove an all-out push over the last year into the trend, but Barbiecore didn’t necessarily start with the announcement last year of the new Barbie movie – the aesthetic goes back to the early 2000s, at least, when the movie Legally Blonde gave us the pink-attired protagonist Elle Woods, and celebrities and influencers like Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and Britney Spears were well-known for hyper-feminine, pink outfits and accessories (Paris has also accumulated a Barbie-worthy car collection over the years, including a powder pink Bentley and holographic pink BMW i8). 

Margot Robbie’s pink-clad, live-action Barbie portrayal has definitely driven the Barbiecore trend further, but Barbiecore isn’t just about wearing pink. It’s also about embracing the doll’s sense of style, which is all about having fun and expressing yourself. In many ways, it’s the antithesis of the Succession-driven, “stealth wealth” and “quiet luxury” trend that luxury retailers have also jumped on. But that hasn’t stopped luxury retailers from embracing Barbiecore as well. 

Barbiecore has driven substantial brand awareness for luxury brands. Vogue Business provided a full rundown of how luxury brands embraced the theme, starting with Valentino’s all-pink-everything PP Autumn/Winter 2022 collection through Chanel’s May cruise show with Margot Robbie in attendance. And according to the data scientists they cited, the visibility of these collections has driven major brand value. As just one example:

“Margot Robbie’s custom pink Schiaparelli look at the Los Angeles premiere has generated a media impact value (MIV; Launchmetrics’s media placement impact metric) of over $2.1 million — more than a half of the brand’s AW23 show (worth $4.1 million in MIV), according to Launchmetrics.”

It’s not just about bringing awareness to their brand when they bring the Barbiecore vibes from the runway to celebrities in the press. On the clienteling side, Barbiecore is also an opportunity for luxury retail associates to help their customers incorporate this trend into their aesthetic in a fun way (even if they are a “quiet luxury” customer most of the time. Fashion-forward customers can be encouraged to incorporate a single statement piece, like hot pink sunglasses, a piece of jewelry, a minidress or vibrant beachwear into their wardrobes this season. 

Will pink just be a passing fad? With the Barbie movie still receiving huge audiences several weeks after release, it’s a trend with some time to run, at the very least – and the doll herself is a timeless icon. If you’re looking for ways to help your customers blend the latest trends into their wardrobe, XY Retail’s clienteling solution gives your associates ways to make personalized merchandising recommendations that suit their style. Contact us to get a demo and learn more.