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Barbie-Themed Storefront to Open on Toronto’s Bloor Street Luxury Run [Interview]

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Toronto-based fashion house Hilary MacMillan is collaborating with Barbie on a nostalgic women and girls collection, and to mark the occasion the first-ever concept pop-up store is opening on Bloor Street West.

The HM Barbie Capsule will officially launch worldwide on August 11, exclusively at www.hilarymacmillan.com and at the Hilary MacMillan store at 131 Bloor Street West in The Colonnade which is home to luxury brands including Dior, Prada, Cartier and Moncler.

The experiential concept store will transport visitors into a luxe closet inspired by Barbie. Surrounded by an all-pink interior, the store will feature the shoppable collection, a photobooth sponsored by FASHION Magazine, and embrace photo and Instagrammable moments throughout the unique experience.

Ushering together MacMillan’s best-selling styles and silhouettes, reimagined using ubiquitous hues of pink, iconic to Barbie, the 15-piece “Shades of Pink” capsule will be on display to shop at the concept store. Each purposely designed piece features references of Barbie through generations, channeling contemporary, athleisure, and elegance – to empower the changemakers of tomorrow, while celebrating the leaders of today.

The Hilary MacMillan x Barbie® Shades of Pink collection (Image: Hilary MacMillan)

To top it off, the capsule includes two pieces featuring pins made in collaboration with Canadian jewelry designer Biko – an exclusive for the capsule collection. 

Hilary MacMillan

The location opens August 11 in just over 2,000 square feet and runs through to September.

“This capsule reimagines our brand’s staples to channel the nostalgia of Barbie through generations past and cementing our vision in offering optimistic and dopamine dressing,” said Hilary MacMillan. “Ready to wear has seen a resurgence and our partnership with Barbie comes at a time when people are searching to find inspiration in their clothing once again. We’ve done something special by creating timeless, yet trendsetting classics to take consumers back through time, yet forward in fashion.

“It’s built on the concept of experience driven shopping rather than just ‘here’s some clothes on a rack type deal’.”

The Hilary MacMillan x Barbie® Shades of Pink collection (Image: Hilary MacMillan)

The designer has been in the business since 2013. She describes the brand as a contemporary, cruelty-free womenswear brand.

The collaboration with Barbie has been in the works for about a year now. 

“They initially approached us and it was a really kind of exciting collaboration that we were interested in simply because Barbie’s such a great, big force especially in championing diversity and size inclusivity and showing Barbie in different careers and in different places. It really aligns with our brand in where we’re trying to head towards as well in terms of offering more diversity, size inclusivity and cruelty-free fashion. So it was kind of the perfect marriage of these two brands.

“And we really wanted to stay true to a nostalgia of what Barbie is and lean into generations past and this whole Barbie movement we’re seeing right now.” 

Hilary MacMillan x Barbie (Rendering)

MacMillan said Bloor Street has long been a strategic goal of hers to offer consumers an opportunity to step into the world of Hilary MacMillan in a unique way. So, kicking this off with a Barbie experience in the heart of downtown Toronto is a dream come true for her and one she’s confident people are ripe to experience.

Jennifer Gileno

The streetfront location in Yorkville will have a hustle and bustle outside its doors. MacMillan loved the vibe of the area.

“MacMillan’s impact on the Canadian fashion industry as a changemaker and pioneer in both size inclusive and vegan fashion, combined with her consistent dedication to supporting women just as they are is inspiring,” said Jennifer Gileno, Head of Licensing at Mattel Canada, which is behind the Barbie brand.

“The collaboration between Barbie and Hilary MacMillan is a perfect example of purpose driven fashion, demonstrating to women and girls that we are stronger together.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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