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Interview with Elvis Barbie Designer

September 15, 2011

Wearing one of the king's signature looks, the new Elvis Barbie doll has quickly become a must-have item for collectors and fans! We recently spoke with Linda Kyaw, the doll's designer, about the inspiration behind this Barbie. Linda has been designing for Barbie Collector for several years and handpaints all of the dolls.

Q) What was the idea behind this design?

A) It came from one of Elvis Presley's most memorable looks as seen on the cover of the album "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong." This is the first time we have done a female doll paying tribute to Elvis. In the past, we’ve done Elvis as himself, so this is a modern twist to a classic look.

Q) Elvis has so many iconic styles. How did you decide on the gold lamé suit?

A) The suit pays homage to Elvis’ gold records album released in 1959. That also happened to be a very important year for Barbie. That’s when she was first introduced at the New York Toy Fair. It was obviously an important year for global icons!

Q) Describe the design process.

A) We start with an inspiration photograph or sketch. From that, we take it to our pattern makers. It works like a real fashion industry where they’ll sew up a first draft sample of the outfit. We then go through revisions of adjusting the outfit and tailoring it to meet Barbie’s scale. At the same time, we get her hair and makeup done. It’s a big team – about 30 people – that work on just one doll.

Q) What has been the response to the new Elvis Barbie?

A) From the collector community to Elvis fans, everyone is loving this doll! I am an Elvis fan myself, so this was especially fun for me to work on. I am really proud to have been a part of this.

Q) What makes Elvis and Barbie such a great pair?

A) Elvis and Barbie are both undisputed, legendary icons that cover the world of pop culture, entertainment and style. Both have made a tremendous impact on history. It’s the Queen of Fashion meets the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

The Elvis Barbie doll is now available at and other online retailers. To celebrate the new Barbie, we're giving away 5 dolls that have been autographed by Linda Kyaw to children at Presley Place, a Memphis housing community funded by the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation that helps homeless families get back on their feet. Elvis Insiders Basic and Plus members can enter a contest to have the dolls donated in their names. To enter, head to the CONTEST section on Not an Insider? Find out how to join!