Barbie Fashionistas 2021 | Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

Mattel, Inc. entered into a multi-year agreement with Itochu Corp. to build a full licensing program for Barbie in Japan.

Under the new deal, Itochu will take the reins in creating the program with “an immediate focus on fashion-related product launches and brand collaborations.” Itochu — which is considered a top general trading company in Japan — manages a portfolio of more than 100 fashion brands, including Converse, FILA, LeSportsac, Paul Smith, and others.

“For more than 60 years, Barbie has proven herself as a timely and timeless fixture in pop culture globally,” says Roz Nowicki, head of global consumer products and franchise marketing, Mattel. “Itochu’s leadership in the fashion industry in Japan makes them the perfect partner for Barbie. We look forward to working with the Itochu team to further drive Barbie’s fashion and purposeful narratives in this important market.”

Related: Play Comes Full Circle with the Mattel PlayBack Toy Takeback Recycling Program

The Barbie brand has been doing big business over the past year and continues to grow through new product launches and partnerships. Earlier this spring, Mattel released the 12th Barbie Dreamhouse and earlier this month, the company added Helen Keller to its line of Barbie Inspiring Women.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.