Cari Borja‘s latest muse doesn’t say much. But, not surprisingly, there’s still a story to tell behind the self-taught Bay Area designer’s new seven-piece mini collection, made entirely for Barbie (and her tiny waist).
The concept was initially conceived when Borja was asked by a colleague to design garments for a Barbie film series that will be submitted to the upcoming San Francisco International Fashion Film Festival. As costume designer for the film “Saffron,” Borja agreed. For her it was both a design challenge and a fun way to revisit her childhood love for Barbie dolls. At the same time, as any good parent would admit, much of what she does (both personally and professionally) is done with her children in mind.
“I had made American Girl doll clothes for my daughter, Royal, and she had just gotten Monster High Dolls. I figured when I got the clothes back after the shoot, they could go to her,” Borja explains.
What started as a fun side project for the designer and mother of two has turned into possibilities for much more.
“I am so in love with doing this very new little project,” Borja says.
Next, Borja would like to design clothing resembling her Dracula collection from BLACK V for her daughter’s Monster High Dolls.
“What I love about creating for dolls is that the combinations aren’t exactly what I would do for my clientele. I have much more flexibility since they are so much about fantasy, and I don’t have to think too much about the practicalities of an actual event, real body, or fit,” she says.
Currently, the collection is only available through her studio on 4th Street in Berkeley, where she hand sews her intricate garments. Don’t be surprised to find a lemonade stand outside her next summer sale (she holds them regularly, usually on weekends). Her children, like their mother, have the creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
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