Wednesday, November 25, 2009
One of the world's most famous children's toys, Barbie, has been given a makeover - wearing a burkha.
Wearing the traditional Islamic dress, the iconic doll is going undercover for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby's for Save The Children.
More than 500 Barbies went on show yesterday at the Salone dei Cinquecento, in Florence, Italy.
Makers Mattel are backing the exhibition which is the work of Italian designer Eliana Lorena.
The auction is part of Barbie celebrations for her 50th anniversary this year. The UK's biggest Barbie fan Angela Ellis, 35, has a collection of more than 250 dolls.
The company director of Laird Assessors from The Wirral, Cheshire, said: 'Bring it on Burkha Barbie, I think this is a great idea.
'I think this is really important for girls, wherever they are from they should have the opportunity to play with a Barbie that they feel represents them.
Designer: Eliana Lorena is putting Barbie undercover for an auction to celebrate the doll's 50th anniversary
'I know Barbie was something seen as bad before as an image for girls, but in actual fact the message with Barbie for women is you can be whatever you want to be.
'I have a Barbie in a wheelchair that was only out for six weeks.'
The mum-of-two's own Barbie collection is set to be displayed at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 2012.
Barbie was first launched in March 1959 by American businesswoman Ruth Handler. The doll was joined by her long-term boyfriend Ken in 1961.
Rosie Shannon, from Save the Children, said all the proceeds from the auction will go to the charity.
She said: 'We are delighted Sotheby's and the designer chose to auction the burka Barbie dolls for our charity.'
The money will go towards the Rewrite the Future campaign which helps millions of children around the world effected by conflict.