“Barbiecore,” “Kencore,” and Barbie on the Rise

Barbie is hot. Not just with little girls and not only with their moms. She is hot on Wall Street. Consider these headlines:

How The Barbie Movie Is Changing Mattel’s Business – CNBC, August 23, 2022

Why Barbie Fashion Is the Exhilarating Trend We Need Right Now, Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2022

The ‘Barbie’ Movie Is Coming. So Is the Trend of Dressing Like Ken, Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2022

Buy Barbie: Mattel is set to surge after recent turnaround, Bank of America says, CNBC, August 18, 2022

Notably, two of the articles are from CNBC, and two are from the Wall Street Journal. Both are media that focus on business. They think Barbie is far more than a doll; she is an economic mover.

Why is Barbie getting all this attention? It’s because Mattel has been working hard to make Barbie relevant to females, and not just any females. They are going for adult women – particularly moms.

Mattel did the spadework by providing the public with alternative body styles and demographics. They also tied her to current fashion trends. Now Mattel is the one setting women’s styles with “Barbiecore.” What is Barbiecore? Here is how that purveyor of all things au courant, People Magazine, defines it:

“A much-welcomed mood-booster after the last few years, ‘Barbiecore’ is all about embracing vibrant hues — particularly the doll’s signature hot pink — in everyday life,” Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson said in a statement to Good Morning America.’

She added, “And with many nostalgic for simpler, sunnier, and more carefree times, it only makes sense that this ’80s-inspired, unapologetically pink aesthetic is taking center stage as the ‘it’ style of the summer.”

What Is Barbiecore? Everything to Know About the Viral Fashion Trend Inspired by Barbie, People, august 1, 2022

Style setters like Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Lizzo, and Glenn Close have gone Barbiecore. To get an idea of how big Barbiecore has gotten, check it out on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/tag/barbiecore?lang=en

Boosting the look is the new Barbie movie. Margot Robbie looks like Barbie and Ryan Gosling, her co-star, makes a pretty good Ken. It appears that he is affecting men’s fashion. The look is called, you guessed it, “Kencore.”.”

Kencore is less about cosplaying as a doll and more about finding inspiration in Ken’s sun-kissed look. It could mean baring biceps (or abs for those more daring); toying with neons or sugary pastels; or donning denim seemingly bleached by the Malibu sun.

The ‘Barbie’ Movie Is Coming. So Is the Trend of Dressing Like Ken, Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2022

It may seem like glitter and glam, but investors like it and what Mattel is doing to drive the brand. The stock, which sat at $11.26 on August 25, 2020, is, as of this posting on August 25, 2022, sitting at $23.73. That’s a more than doubling of the company’s stock value since the new management took over.

Kudos to Mattel for recognizing it had work to do and then doing it so well.

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