Barbie goes to Shanghai

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How do you celebrate the 50th birthday of an American icon? For Barbie, it's a trip to Shanghai. Recently, Mattel opened House of Barbie, the world's first Barbie-centric store in Shanghai, a 40,000-sq.-ft. ode to the plastic icon. Designed by New York-based Slade Architecture, the store houses the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Barbie dolls and offers, of course, a huge range of Barbie products, services and activities. 

The two-layer façade references Barbic packaging, with a little decorative arts and architectural iconography thrown in. A feminine lattice patter of Barbie-trademarked iconography is printed on the exterior glass and the patterning is reinforced by interior, formed panels. Inside, of course, is a whole lotta pink and pearlescent surfaces. The central element is a three-story spiral staircase that encloses over 800 Barbie dolls. The result: everything, literally, revolved around Barbie.

Also included in the mix:

– The Barbie Design Center, designed by Chute Gerdeman Retail, where visitors get a glimpse into how to design a Barbie doll by selecting their own looks and walking out with their own Barbie.

– The Barbie Fashion Stage, also done by Chute Gerdeman Retail, where visitors can take part in a runway show, choosing their own outfits and receiving hair and makeup treatment.

– The Barbie Café, a restaurant and gelato bar which serves, of course, Barbie-inspired concoctions.

– A full-service spa (!)….still to come later this year.

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