09 April 2009

Henry Holland shares his Barbie memories!

Henry Holland

Just how lucky is Henry Holland? He's got a supermodel best-friend, Alexa and Pixie as bezzers and he gets to visit Mattel HQ to visit the Barbie factory and call it work. Grrrr... I caught up with him at the Barbie 50th birthday bash he hosted at Dover Street Market, and while we admired his PR Mandi Lennard's newly dyed pink hair, he told me how 'mental' Mattel's Barbie Factory in Santa Monica is. ‘I went to where they design and make the clothes for the designer Barbies, and the work is done in a series of cubicles that look like the offices of a giant corporation; but each cubicle is curtained off with mad patchwork blankets and inside Hispanic women work on the tiny designer clothes. It is like my design studio in miniature. The ironing boards are 12 inches long!' For the record, his all-time favourite Barbies are Batgirl Barbie, Grease Barbie and, for camp value, the Cher Barbie with clothes created by American fashion designer Bob Mackie. So, my final question is whether Henry played with Barbie's as a child? ‘Well, my mum gives courses on equal opportunities, so she didn't want to bring up me and my sister with gender specific toys. She was a bit annoyed when – with our first pocket money – I went out and bought a bow and arrow and my sister bought a Barbie. I remember her telling us off when I tried to shoot the Barbie with my bow and arrow.' I bet Mrs Holland will be happy now!

- Melanie Rickey


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