BEIRUT: An iconic plastic doll has been one of Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad’s most high-profile clients over the past year. Murad has dressed another Barbie, the classic blonde doll, from the brands’ 2014 Gold Label collection. In November, Murad made news when Barbie released a doll that paid homage to American singer Jennifer Lopez that featured two miniature versions of red carpet couture designed by Murad.
For the past several decades, Barbie has paired with luxury and iconic fashion designers to make special edition dolls. More recent collaborators include shoe designer Christian Louboutin, who created a line of pushpin-sized heels for the doll in 2010, and wedding dress designer Vera Wang, who sporadically makes tiny versions of her luxury bridalwear. Zuhair is the first designer from Lebanon to work with the American toy company.
The new Barbie, announced just before the toy celebrated its 55th birthday Thursday, wears a nude silk and tulle gown with black beading from Murad’s spring-summer 2012 couture collection. Barbie paired the dress with a simple updo and drop diamond earrings. Targeted for adult collectors, the doll costs $75 – two zeros shy of lower-end Lebanese couture.
But she’s not the only blonde bombshell to step out in this glittering frock. American actress “Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively wore the dress to the premier of her 2013 film “Savages.” Fashion entertainment news gushed about the strapless gown.
“Murad recreates one of his most-celebrated silhouettes exclusively for Barbie doll,” said a press release from the firm, a brand owned by American toy giants Mattel. Barbie doesn’t go so far as to acknowledge the star who made the dress famous.
“The Zuhair Murad Barbie doll wears an exquisite recreation of a Zuhair Murad design seen at a Hollywood premiere.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 11, 2014, on page 2.