The fashion industry gave Barbie an award. Does she really deserve one?


NEW YORK — the style trade honored itself Monday night with a glittering gala that celebrated the work of designers difficult our conception of beauty, elevating enduring vogue over fads and dealing to forge a future that’s respectful to the atmosphere. It also honored Barbie.

At its annual awards ceremony at the Brooklyn Museum, the Council of Fashion Designers of America gave the doll it’s Board of Directors’ Tribute, that in recent years has gone to former 1st woman Michelle Obama, equal rights advocate Gloria Steinem, entertainer, and activist Janelle Monáe and former head of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards. To be clear, the CFDA didn’t provide a late award to Ruth Handler, the lady WHO created Barbie in 1959, or to Lisa McKnight, the lady WHO these days oversees the Barbie brand. The tribute, conferred by actress Yara Shahidi, visited the doll itself — a doll that has delighted children, angry feminists, galvanized designers, confounded critics and launched a thick body of think pieces from would-be women’s studies lecturers WHO have lamented the doll’s impact on everything from children’s body image to a female identity.

The timing arrangement of the award coincides with the doll’s sixtieth day of the anniversary. Because of her over-the-top representation of femininity, Barbie is also camp, that is that the subject of this Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan repository of Art. Indeed, the singer Kacey Musgraves showed up at the exhibition’s camp-themed opening gala last month dressed as a life-size version of the buxom, blond doll. And while, the CFDA created it clear that Barbie — or additional accurately, the doll’s manufacturer, Mattel — wasn’t one in every one of the sponsors of the awards evening, the toymaker and the fashion industry have a protracted history of cross-promotional collaborations. The award, as its name suggests, resolve by the trade organization’s board, which has complete names like Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Prabal Gurung, and Tracy Reese.