Italian Vogue Does Babes in Toyland

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Published November 24, 2009

VOGUE ITALIA BOX SET WITH TWO BARBIES, HAIR BY RYOJI IMAIZUMI FOR SHU UEMURA

Amid the moderate scandal over Lara Stone’s scandalous stint in blackface for French Vogue, we shouldn’t lose sight of another bodacious blond clotheshorse’s positive multi-racial reincarnation. Tomorrow in Milan, Christie’s will support AIRC, the Italian Association for Cancer Research, by auctioning the 46 designer-attired black Barbies who graced the pages of Vogue Italia‘s July issue. While also serving as a stewardess, princess, model, go-go dancer and mom, Barbie became a champion for racial equality when she befriended Christie, whom Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, describes as “glamorous and charming as [Barbie]. And Black.”  And in 1980, Barbie herself traded in her peachy plastic body and blond hair for a beautiful brown body and black straight locks—transforming Christie Brinkley into Beverly Johnson, and inspiring generations of black girls to appreciate their own beauty. “Barbie is an undeniable fashion icon and her beauty is recognized worldwide,” affirms Richard Dickson, Head of Mattel, “But it is her inner beauty that girls see and we celebrate by participating in important cause-related efforts just like this one created by Vogue Italia that provides a way to give back to the community.”