Barbie on a mission to grow licensing portfolio in Japan with fashion name ITOCHU

Published on: 27th May 2021

Mattel is looking to expand the global licensing programme for its iconic fashion doll brand, Barbie, having entered into a multi-year agreement with ITOCHU for the Japanese market.

ITOCHU is a recognised leader in the region’s fashion sector with a portfolio that currently boasts over 100 well-known fashion brands, including the likes of Paul Smith, FILA, and LeSportsac. Under the partnership, Barbie will look to expand into fashion related product launches and brand collaborations across Japan.

“For more than 60 years, Barbie has proven herself as a timely and timeless fixture in pop culture globally,” said 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.”

In a statement issued this week, ITOCHU said: “Barbie’s brand philosophy – about empowering the limitless potential in every girl – is highly relevant in Japan. We look forward to partnering with Mattel to promote this brand purpose and develop a range of products and programs for Japanese consumers with high fashion sensibilities, further increasing the reach of the Barbie brand in Japan.”

Barbie has always been at the intersection of fashion and pop culture, and continues to represent global diversity in the fashion doll aisle by showcasing a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion. Named the 2020 Top Global Toy Property of the Year, according to the NPD group, the brand engages consumers through new product innovation, cultural relevance, digital dialog, and the celebration of female role models.


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