People

I Designed Barbie’s Clothes

AS BARBIE TURNS 60, CAROL SPENCER LOOKS BACK AT THE DECADES SHE SPENT CREATING LOOKS FOR AMERICA’S MOST FAMOUS—AND CONTROVERSIAL—DOLL
A Life’s Work “I would never have dreamed I’d be talking about Barbie in 2019!” says designer—and now author—Spencer (on the job at Mattel ca. 1968).

Twirly Curls Barbie. Crisp ’N Cool Barbie. Totally Hair Barbie. Great Shape Barbie. It’s been nearly six decades since Carol Spencer began her career creating fashions for the iconic doll, but the 86-year-old designer can still recall the names of nearly all of the hundreds of versions lovingly displayed in her L.A. home. “I’ve lost track of how many I have,” she says. “But it’s a lot!”

Spencer, who designed thousands of looks for Barbie over a 35-year career at Mattel, chronicles her journey in a new book, Dressing Barbie,

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