Barbie x Balmain: Taking A Bet that NFTs Are A Powerful Customer Engagement Tool

American doll company and French luxury brand hope to change how they engage with their customer.

It’s been a long time since the American doll company Barbie trended. Some of us might remember when Oscar de la Renta dressed Barbie in the 1980s. Now in 2022, Barbie teamed up with French luxury brand Balmain to present their first NFT, a collab nobody saw coming. 

Representing a Real Fun Moment

Two years in the making, the digital collaboration between the two well-known brands presented an opportunity for them to use NFTs as a powerful customer engagement tool. Hoping to change how the brand engages with its customer, Richard Dickson, Mattel president and COO of Barbie’s parent company Mattel, said on their milestone: “It’s incredibly meaningful and powerful as we effectively roll out our NFT strategy across Mattel. It’s part of our business and staying relevant.” 

The three one-of-a-kind Balmain x Barbie NFTs are currently up for auction at marketplace mintNFT. In support of the collaboration, James Sun, founder and CEO of mintNFT said: “What’s so beautiful is they’re not just purchasing an NFT, they’re saying, I want to be part of this brand on the blockchain . . . It’s very philosophical.”

Fighting Gender Limitations

Focusing on diversity and inclusion, the digital campaign will represent more than the blond Barbie we are all used to. Instead, a multicultural cast of Barbie avatars will be head to toe in Balmain. A move supported by Olivier Rousteing, creative director at Balmain, said in a statement, “This collection also rejects any arbitrary gender limitations—this is an almost 100% unisex collection”. 

Celebrating genderless fashion, the bidding ended on 14th January 2022. The winners of each NFT received a matching mini Balmain outfit sized just for Barbie. 

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Founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta is currently one of the leading influencers writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given talks at Premiere Vision, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. Besides working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion companies like LVMH Atelier, Muchaneta has also contributed to Vogue Business, is a senior contributor at The Interline and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion, UAL.