In 2019, Kith Women and Barbie announced their partnership by launching a doll styling contest and a Kith in-store retrospective, paying tribute to Barbie’s 60-year history as an iconic interpreter of style. The styling contest, open to the public, invited participants to create the official Kith Women for Barbie by styling a selection of dolls with 80 Kith women custom doll-sized apparel and accessories pieces. These submissions were then reviewed by a panel of judges, comprised of three industry-leading stylists including Ade Samuel, Dianne Garcia and Maeve Reilly. These judges narrowed the submissions down to six finalists which were then voted on by the public to choose the winning doll that would be available for sale.
The Kith Women for Barbie doll is dressed in miniaturized Kith Women apparel in complete custom packaging. The packaging includes a miniature clothing rack with various Kith Women apparel, accessory, and footwear options for the doll, as well as a bench inspired by those found in Kith’s flagship stores.
In addition to the doll, the Kith Women for Barbie apparel collection sits at the intersection between timeless Kith Women silhouettes and iconic, timeless Barbie detailing. The Golden Bear Varsity Jacket is offered in Black and crafted in a high-quality wool-blend fabric with quilted lining. Complete with full patchwork such as a gothic K patch, Kith box logo, and Kith for Barbie patches on the sleeves and back, the Varsity Jacket is the centerpiece of the apparel collection. The Jane Hoodie II is available in a 100% Black cotton fabric with Kith for Barbie artwork, as well as in a rich Amazon green with gothic Kith font which matches back to the Chelsea Sweatpant with the same detailing. The Cris Crew is offered in Pink and White and have varying Barbie artwork and Kith for Barbie logo detailing on each sleeve. The collection also includes special Kith Women x Barbie iterations of the Alexa Cropped Hoodie, Mei Tee, Lucy Tee, Mott Tee, and the brand’s signature Dad Hats.
The Kith Kids for Barbie collection also includes a Golden Bear Varsity Jacket offered in classic Barbie Pink and includes other unique Kith for Barbie patchwork elements. The Kids line also includes Kith for Barbie branded Onesie and Pant set, 100% cotton Kids hoodies and tees with Kith box logo and Barbie elements, a Williams Sweatpant, and a 100% cotton French terry Hoodie Dress with a unique graphic on the front.
Kith Women & Kids for Barbie releases this Monday December 6th at all Kith flagship stores and the Kith Aspen Pop-Up, 11AM EST on Kith.com, and 11AM CET on EU.Kith.com.
To celebrate this launch, we interviewed the winning stylist of the Kith Women for Barbie 2019 Competition – Mekka Shyian. Mekka talks about her journey as a stylist and how she approached the styling of the Kith Women for Barbie doll.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
MS: I am Mekka and I’m originally from Newark, NJ. I’ve been into fashion since I can remember – it has always been around me. I graduated from Johnson & Wales in 2017 and I also studied in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. Now I am navigating myself through the fashion industry.
What was your first experience in fashion? What made you passionate about it?
MS: Definitely my childhood. My family did fashion shows. My mom’s closet was always massive. I have an aunt who didn’t have kids so her closet was also massive. So I was around clothing and fashion since I was like 5 years old. I just always loved to be dressed.
How did you hear about the Barbie contest?
MS: My boyfriend was on Instagram and he had originally sent me the post apologizing because he thought it was closed. So we ended up coming to the Kith store and my boyfriend spoke to someone there and they were like “Oh she can still sign up.”
Can you describe the creative approach that you took with the styling when you submitted it?
MS: It really had a lot to do with school. I learned this when I was in Italy – to be really hands on. Research really matters. When I first got there, I just studied lookbooks, read articles, I sat there and really did the research. So I knew when I was going into this contest what I was going for and what style I was going for.
I went for an upscale, elevated, minimalist type of look. I went for that girl that works in the city but works that 9-5 but still wants to go out after work. It’s Friday, so she’s able to dress down but still wants to look like a lady.
How would you describe your aesthetic as a style and how does it overlap with the Kith aesthetic?
MS: I don’t feel like I have a particular style. I feel like I adapt. It depends how I am feeling, my mood and where I am going, even the people that I am around. I think I took that and thought about who the Kith girl is and the type of woman she is.
How has being a stylist shaped this experience for you?
MS: It made the contest a little harder because I feel like I took it way more serious. It was a lot to think about, especially because I knew it was going to be judged. I didn’t know if you guys were looking for the sporty, sneaker look or whatever. I didn’t know where the direction was headed but I knew I had to meet in the middle. It was like way harder.
What was your reaction to winning the contest? How do you think this impacts the next steps for you?
MS: I literally screamed while I was at work. I was like talking about it at work too because I took off to come do the contest. Everyone knew about it so it was anticipated. When I saw that I won, I was like “Wait, what!?” I couldn’t believe I won. I feel like I always knew I am good at what I do but I feel like now other people see it too.