-- Whitney Friedlander Barbie, the long-limbed American icon, celebrated her golden birthday in style with a bash at New York Fashion Week. What did she get? A runway show in her honor, where big-name designers such as Betsey Johnson and Reem Acra created looks based on her. After all, Barbara Millicent Roberts always managed to make an entrance -- even if that introduction eventually resulted in a new, uneven cropped ‘do or perhaps a swapped head or two. She first appeared in 1959 at the New York Toy Fair where parent Mattel Inc. said she was to “mirror the sophisticated glamour of 1950s stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, donning high arched brows, pursed red lips, a sassy pony tail with curly bangs and a coy, sideways glance.” Here’s a look at some of Barbie’s other noteworthy looks, as well as some of the years they were in stores. More in Image: • Mattel’s Barbie influenced these L.A. designers • New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show • New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway • At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China
31 Images

Barbie fashion through the years

-- Whitney Friedlander

Barbie, the long-limbed American icon, celebrated her golden birthday in style with a bash at New York Fashion Week. What did she get? A runway show in her honor, where big-name designers such as Betsey Johnson and Reem Acra created looks based on her.

After all, Barbara Millicent Roberts always managed to make an entrance -- even if that introduction eventually resulted in a new, uneven cropped ‘do or perhaps a swapped head or two. She first appeared in 1959 at the New York Toy Fair where parent Mattel Inc. said she was to “mirror the sophisticated glamour of 1950s stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, donning high arched brows, pursed red lips, a sassy pony tail with curly bangs and a coy, sideways glance.”

Here’s a look at some of Barbie’s other noteworthy looks, as well as some of the years they were in stores.

More in Image:
• Mattel’s Barbie influenced these L.A. designers
• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Roman Holiday Barbie, 1959

Not so much an ode to fellow style icon Audrey Hepburn, whose film “Roman Holiday” came out in 1953, this Barbie seems more like a tribute to TV sitcom star Lucille Ball. According to Fashion-Doll-Guide.com, this look is one of three ensembles created in 1959, although Mattel issued a reproduction in 1994 for Babs’ 35th birthday.

More in Image:
• Mattel’s Barbie influenced these L.A. designers
• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Fashion Editor Barbie, 1960

All dressed up and ready for work, Barbie gets a job in the industry she knows best. A bit of a job shifter, Barbie has had more than 108 careers, including a flight attendant for several airlines, a ballerina, an actress, a U.S. Army officer (with a uniform that was approved by the Pentagon), an Olympic swimmer and a TV chef.

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• Mattel’s Barbie influenced these L.A. designers
• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Open Road Barbie, 1961

But why work when you can catch a ride on the open road? Barbie’s hairdo will stay intact if she takes the hardtop down, and she has a map so Ken, who debuted this year, wouldn’t have to ask for directions.

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Miss Barbie, 1964

Like 1963’s Fashion Queen Barbie, Mattel states that Miss Barbie showcased “the elaborate hairstyles of the mid-'60s.” Both dolls had the option of modeling three different wigs when they got sick of their molded hairstyles.

Miss Barbie also had “sleep eyes” that opened and shut when she needed her beauty sleep, and bendable legs when she needed a rest from the pageantry.

More in Image:
• Mattel’s Barbie influenced these L.A. designers
• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Color Magic Barbie, 1966

Always the entertainer, this harlequin-dressed Barbie could change her look and hairstyle with a bit of water.

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Twist Turn Barbie, 1967

A fan of the British Invasion, this Barbie could twist from the waist. She also embraced the trends of the moment: her bright orange bikini was modeled after the one Marilyn Tindall wore in that year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, plus Barbie’s makeup was lighter and her hair was straight.

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Talking Barbie, 1968

Like so many other women of the era, Barbie finally starts saying what’s on her mind. It just seems that she’s interested in going shopping.

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• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Maxi N Mini Barbie, 1970

“You got crazy legs, you got amazing head ...” Always fashion forward, Barbie embraces the glam rock movement of the early ‘70s.

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• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Live Action Barbie, 1971

According to Mattel, Barbie got a dose of Flower Power and donned bell bottoms shortly after Woodstock. The company says this is when the “Barbie Country Camper travels to the great outdoors as ‘the youth’ become more inspired by nature.”

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Malibu Barbie, 1971

Perhaps the most famous themed Barbie, this surfer girl was said to give girls a taste of fun in the California sun, even though Barbie is actually from Wisconsin.

“Malibu Barbie debuted with a new face sculpt, including the addition of an open smile with pearly white teeth,” according to Mattel. “And, thanks to the groundswell of the feminist movement and female empowerment, her sparkling blue eyes faced forward for the first time.”

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Quick Curl Barbie, 1973

It only it were this easy for the rest of us: Barbie’s hair could be curled and twisted for feathered hair fashions. Not to be left out, there was also Mod Hair Ken. Check out the commercial for more styling tips.

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Superstar Barbie, 1977

After her third major face change, Barbie heads to the dance floor to show off her “wide smile and fuller hair, blue shimmer eye shadow, brightly painted eyes, and pale pink lip gloss that were in-step with the glittering disco glam look found gyrating on dance floors across the country.”

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• New York’s fall fashion week: Barbie runway show
• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Golden Dream Barbie, 1981

Barbie shines on into the ‘80s, also with quick-curl hair. Another commercial offers styling tips.

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• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Designer Denim Barbie, 1982

Nothing came between Brooke Shields and her Calvin Kleins, so one should expect nothing else from this fashion plate and her designer jeans. More in Image:
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Angel Face Barbie, 1983

“Earth Angel” attire or not, this was the first year for this Barbie. Marketing describes her as having “a delicate face with large, round eyes, pale skin and long, sun streaked hair.”

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Crystal Barbie, 1984

Shimmering from head to toe, Barbie showcased ‘80s luxury. As the girl in the commercial points out, she’ll “shine at the dance.”

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Day to Night Barbie, 1985

Don’t be fooled by that proper workplace attire, this commercial shows that skirt turns around to reveal a fancier number so that Barbie can work from 9 to 5 and be ready for a night with Ken in a jiff.

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Barbie and the Rockers, 1986

David Lee Roth? Please. Barbie was the ultimate blond fronter for big-hair bands.

I think Mattel said it best: Barbie “rocks the ‘80s scene with big hair, big shoulder pads and all the other fashion faux pas we’d like to forget from the decade.” Except these trends keep coming back.

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• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
All-American Barbie, 1991

With her half-up ponytail and frilled denim skirt, Barbie’s ready to line dance.

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Totally Hair Barbie, 1992

The name says it all. Barbie’s crimped hair went from her head to her toes. This was also the best-selling Barbie. For some “totally hot, totally cool” styling tips, check out this commercial.

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Harley-Davidson Barbie, 1997

A little over a decade after joining a band, Barbie hitched a ride with another Wisconsin native.

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Generation Girl Barbie, 1999

Not at all fazed by the Y2K bug, Mattel says this Barbie approached the new millennium with “a new sassy, edgy, street-fashion look.”

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Jewel Girl Barbie, 2000

“As the fashion world became more body conscious, so did Barbie,” according to Mattel. “Jewel Girl Barbie underwent a millennial makeover featuring a new, more athletic physique, a bendable, flexible waist and her first belly button. Always ready for a party, her hipster slim pants, crop top and fresh-colored pastel jacket could go from day to night in a flash. Bring on that personal touch – her stick-on fashion jewels allowed girls to customize the outfit or accessorize their own rock star-inspired look. “

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• New York Fashion Week review: Barbies take over the runway
• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
Barbie, 2004

Considering how fresh and confident Barbie appears, one would never know that she and Ken called it off on Valentine’s Day of this year, (they’d dated for 43 years!).

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Cali Barbie, 2004

After years of being synonymous with Malibu, Barbie decides to take on the entire Golden State.

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• At 50 years old, Barbie gets tattoos -- and a megastore in China (Mattel Inc.)
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