Billion-Dollar Barbie


Anyone who has had a daughter in the past 32 years will find it hard to believe there can be an untapped area of Barbie merchandise, but horror of horrors, there is. Coming soon to a store near you will be Barbie clothes scaled for Barbie owners aged 3 to 8. Mattel has licensed apparel and accessory firms to develop products for the Barbie for Girls label. Clothes, shoes, hair accessories, handbags, umbrellas and skates are just some of the products that will be sold at major chain stores and specialty stores, including Sears, Target and Wal-Mart. Meryl Freidman, vice president of Barbie products, predicts the new merchandise will push Barbie into a billion-dollar business.

UNTRUE COLORS AND A SHORT CUT: Cyndi Lauper, who is working on a new album, has traded her dreamsicle-colored hairdo for a unremarkable brown blunt cut. But the squeaky-voiced singer doesn't feel comfortable in the new do and told Listen that she plans to return to her Day-Glo roots. Michael Keaton is on a return trip of his own. Prepping for his second round as Batman, Keaton had to shear his shoulder-length hair. He headed into Ronnie Romoff's salon in Santa Monica for a Bat-bob that is quite a bit shorter than the original Bat-style, says Romoff.

PEARLY TASTE: To celebrate her newly pierced ears, Elizabeth Taylor summoned jewelry designer Lee Brevard to her home--"where everyone was eating tuna," he says, which could explain why Liz looks so thin--and bought several styles of his hoop earrings. The selection included one gold and cultured pearl drop that she paired with a gold and emerald design. The pearl drop, which sells for $310 at Neiman Marcus, is a popular style. Brevard says Farrah Fawcett wore it on "The Arsenio Hall Show," Marlee Matlin used it during the filming of a television pilot, and Penelope Ann Miller wore it in "Year of the Comet," which will be released next year.

CHER-BARE: Some stars--such as Cher--are deeply committed to their personal style. She has been working on her new album, "Love Hurts," and last week was in Herb Ritts' photo studio to pose for the cover. In typical Cher style, the clothes were form-fitting and flesh-baring. Draped around the dressing room were outfits by showoffs Azzedine Alaia, Gianni Versace and Los Angeles-based Van Buren.

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