*Behind the “So In Style” line of African-American Barbies, released in 2009, there is a mother who was motivated to create a doll in the image of her daughter.
Stacey McBride-Irby, a project designer for Mattel Inc. in El Segundo, has been a fan of Barbie since she was a child.
In fact, the doll and her fondness for fashion influenced the Gardena, CA resident and mother of two to become the person she is today.
“Barbie was my favorite doll,” said McBride-Irby. “I loved mixing and matching her clothes, and styling her hair. She gave me the inspiration to become a designer.”
Not long after McBride-Irby stopped playing with Barbie dolls at age 13, she decided to follow her dream of going into fashion.
“I enjoyed sketching the latest hairstyles and fashions of the girls,” she said.
But it was years later, watching her then 4-year-old daughter, Sierra, interact with the dolls, when the African-American designer was inspired to develop a figure that would mirror the world she knows.
“I’ve always wanted to create a line of Barbie that represents me and other women in my community,” McBride-Irby said. “Seeing my daughter and other girls and women of color motivated me to create such a line, that offered more options for authentic fashion dolls.”
McBride-Irby created the original concept behind “So In Style” while on vacation in 2007.
“I started writing stories for the ‘So In Style’ characters,” she said. “The stories mainly focused around three friends from high school who all had dreams and aspirations for themselves.”
Watch McBride-Irby talk about her dolls on CNN: