Pantone 219 C. It’s the hyper-pink hue of the year. With Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig and the rest of the star-studded cast deep in the throes of the Barbie press tour ahead of the film’s official release on Thursday, it feels like it’s Barbie’s world and we’re just living in it.
There have been slight variations in shade since Barbie debuted at the New York Toy Fair in 1959, but candy-pink has always been linked to the iconic doll. Sixty four years (and more than a billion dolls sold) later, the signature saccharine hue is saturating everything from Frank Green’s reusable water bottle to embellished stilettos and even fast-food menus.
“Barbiecore comes at a fascinating intersection of post-pandemic dopamine-dressing, the political clusterfuck of Roe v Wade, and [the] post-#MeToo era, which is resulting in this fierce, larger-than-life femininity feeling so incredibly ‘now’,” says Tully Walter, futures strategist at human insights think tank Soon.
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But the colour pink has had good PR for most of the last decade. “The internet reframed our angst into #aesthetics, resulting in Tumblr pink. Kassia St Clair touts Apple’s launch of the rose gold iPhone driving the colour into the mainstream, while Pantone’s 2016 colour of the year, rose quartz, highlighted the shifts in discussions surrounding gender sensitivity and awareness,” Walter says. “Within this journey, a proliferation of startup unicorns and DTC brands rendered millennial pink as the go-to visual language for cool, contemporary (and target-market-attracting) branding. Fast-track a decade later and it has been commercialised in every visible market and category, both IRL and URL.”
The last year has merely doubled down on the popularity of pink. From the paparazzi shots of Robbie and her co-star Ryan Gosling rollerblading in neon ensembles to the drip-feed of trailers and the rollout of red carpet outfits at global premieres, Mattel has truly made its mark.
Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino pink autumn/winter 2022/23 collection further cemented our obsession with the bold colourway, which has made its way through the fashion ecosystem and into almost every store window of late. And even though trend forecasting agency WGSN predicts that we are reaching the peak of hot pink this season, the colour has staying power in softer tones.
Whether you want to go head-to-toe pink or prefer to add a subtle pop to your outfits, there’s no shortage of Barbie-inspired style right now. Unreal Fur’s tailored coat and faux fur jacket are the perfect antidotes to dreary winter wardrobe staples. Venroy’s sheer sequin slip dress buys into the naked dress trend, while New Zealand brand Maggie Marilyn's Love is a Place and She Got Her Groove Back styles echo the fiercely feminine mood. Sir offers its Giacomo skirt and top for a two-piece option if you prefer. And Melbourne footwear brand Rollie has launched a capsule collection to celebrate the fandom. From luggage to luxury handbags the reach is far and wide. Just search “pink” on e-tailers like The Iconic and Net-a-Porter and you’ll be met with pages and pages of retina-grabbing pieces.
When it comes to creating a Barbie-inspired dreamhouse, brands are more than happy to help you build a playful oasis. This pink velvet sofa has curves in all the right places. Bed Threads might call this shade lavender but there is a definite rosy tone to the beloved linen sheet set. Then there’s Hommey’s Barbicore Fun bundle, which features the brand’s plush cushions in shades like sass, bubblegum and rose pink (the brand also offers an array of towels and robes in complementing colours). Mustard Made’s lockers come in blush, berry and poppy colourways for a sweet storage solution. And Oh Paddi’s Buttercup dining table is also available in three trending shades at the moment.
You can slice, dice and julienne your veggies on Fat Tuesday’s recycled plastic chopping boards. Or serve your favourite snacks plated on signature pieces from In the Roundhouse and Fazeek’s new ceramic range. Maison Balzac’s rose-tinted Manhattan glass is simply the cherry on top.
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