Earlier this year, Mattel expanded its Barbie Fashionistas line with new dolls, including one with a prosthetic limb and another in a wheelchair. While there hasn’t been a wheelchair in the Barbie collection for some years, the Share a Smile Becky doll (1997) has long been a mascot in the office of Izzy Wheels — a Dublin-based company that manufactures designer covers for wheelchair wheels. Now, Mattel and Izzy Wheels are teaming up.
The Barbie x Izzy Wheels collaboration is a series of four designs that can be sized to fit any manual wheelchair, along with miniature versions that are scaled to fit the Barbie with Wheelchair doll in the Fashionistas line.
“Having a Barbie in a wheelchair meant so much to me as a little girl, and I love that a whole new generation of kids with disabilities can play with a Barbie that represents them,” says Izzy Keane, co-founder of Izzy Wheels.
Born with Spina Bifida and paralyzed from her waist down, Keane and sister Ailbhe launched to the company in hopes of inspiring other wheelchair users to express their personalities by transforming a medical device into an element of fashion.
Designs for the Barbie x Izzy Wheels collection come from London-based fashion label ART SCHOOL, along with artists Malika Favre, Hattie Stewart, and Annu Kilpeläineninto. Covers will be available at izzywheels.com beginning Aug. 28.