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Forever 21’s Calling Barbie Girls Everywhere

Forever 21 is the latest fashion retailer to tap into Gen Z’s obsession with nostalgia by creating a collection with the iconic Barbie herself.

The Authentic Brands Group label‘s drop arrives as a “Barbie” movie is in the works to hit theaters next summer, with the rom-com starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie.

The ’90s-tinged Barbie Summer 2022 Collection features women’s jean jackets and shorts, swimwear, sleepwear and accessories, alongside beauty products and home décor, a category it recently entered. It also includes a series of Barbie Fashionista dolls with inclusive body shapes, skin tones and features.

The collection taps into Web3 and brings Barbie’s signature style to Roblox, the online world where Tommy Hilfiger and Nike have also courted young consumers. This isn’t Barbie’s first time in the metaverse. Balmain in January premiered a series of exclusive Barbie NFTs alongside its 50-piece Barbie collection.

“Barbie, a SoCal native plays in the same inclusive, empowering and fashionable space that our customers love, appreciate and have come to expect from our business,” said Winnie Park, who joined Forever 21 as CEO earlier this year. “We are thrilled to offer shoppers unexpected line extensions that include Barbie in store and online and virtual fashions in the metaverse. This was the perfect collection to launch first, under our Forever LA umbrella.”

Forever 21 isn’t the only retailer tapping into the nostalgia wave sweeping over consumer culture and fashion. Levi’s turned to “The Simpsons” for a streetwear collection paying homage to Bart, Lisa and other icons from the long-running animated series. Balenciaga also collaborated with the popular TV family, showing a collection at Paris Fashion Week and creating a 10-minute episode featuring Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga who now goes by Demna, and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

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Forever 21 is the latest fashion retailer to tap into Gen Z’s obsession with the 90’s by creating a collection with the iconic Barbie herself.

Classic ‘90s styles including low-rise jeans, bucket hats and miniskirts have returned to relevance as Gen Z and younger millennials discover that decade that shape their forebears.

Reebok dropped a Tom & Jerry collab in 2019, cashing in on the classic cartoon’s appeal. Adidas has turned to Legos on more than one occasion, taking inspiration from the toy franchise that’s inspired movies, theme parks, popup experiences and more.

Forever 21, meanwhile, continues to reposition itself after weathering a bankruptcy and coming under new ownership. The youth-focused brand is now carried at JCPenney to broaden the label’s reach.

The collection is available in sizes XS-3XL and priced at $6.99-$54.99, with an additional assortment for kids. It is available through Forever 21’s app, stores and e-commerce site, and can also be experienced on Roblox.