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.”
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.