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J. Lo Barbie doll dons Murad for big debut
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BEIRUT: Design a dress for the red carpet, and people might notice it for a day. Design a dress for a popular doll, and it might be displayed on the shelves of shops and children’s bedrooms for years to come.

Renowned Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad has achieved an extra long shelf life by doing both: Two of his pieces worn by Jennifer Lopez last year have been reproduced in miniature for the Barbie doll version of the American entertainer.

“It’s important that his clothes are shown on [the Lopez] Barbie,” said Zuhair Murad spokesperson Andree Zovighian, noting that the two outfits by the designer were selected from several that she had worn over the last few years.

The first, a full-length cream-and-white striped gown with a plunging neckline and low-cut back was what the actor-singer wore for the Oscars in 2012. Like the real-life Lopez that night, the “Red Carpet doll” is wearing sparkly dangling earrings and her hair is tied high in a large bun.

The second outfit is what Murad designed for Lopez’s world tour that same year – a flesh-colored jumpsuit embedded with diamonds. The doll’s dark wavy hair falls down over her back, and, like Lopez on her world tour, she is wearing high heeled white lace-up shoes.

Mattel, the toy manufacturing company that makes Barbie, even said they had even made the new doll slightly curvier than the original, although there has been some criticism regardless on social media that they haven’t gone far enough..

“I think Barbie represents infinite possibilities – the dream is still alive, you never really get too far from that little girl or at least, you shouldn’t,” Lopez said in a video promoting the new doll.

The dolls, which retail at around $30, were released Nov. 4, well in time for Christmas, and are already in hundreds of shops across the world – excluding Lebanon. Zovighian says she hopes it will make it here by the festive season.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped an online buzz around the new product, and it will no doubt be a source of national pride for many Lebanese.

This isn’t the first time Murad has dressed toys. In 2008, he began a three-year stint designing gowns for teddy bears in a campaign to raise awareness of child abuse.

But what he is best known for is dressing A-list Hollywood celebrities for their red carpet appearances.

The list of those who have chosen to wear his dresses for their big nights also includes the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Beyonce Knowles.

Now he has another couple of outfits that will live on in the hearts and shelves of children for years.

Until they arrive in Lebanon, the dolls can be bought online at the Barbie collector website:

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 13, 2013, on page 2.
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