The supermodel, whose Barbie is available now, tells PEOPLE it's "surreal" seeing herself as the iconic doll
Claudia Schiffer’s a Barbie girl!
The supermodel and legendary brand have partnered on what is hands down the most fashionable doll of all time.
Today, the two introduced the Barbie Claudia Schiffer doll on Mattel Creations for $85.
The doll, crafted in the Schiffer’s likeness, is decked out in a stunning recreation of the unforgettable cerulean, floor-length Versace dress she wore at the 1994 Fall/Winter Atelier Versace show.
While this is the first time a Barbie Claudia Schiffer doll by Mattel has been available for purchase, it’s actually the fourth created in honor of the fashion icon.
In 2017, Barbie celebrated her then-30-year career with a one-of-a-kind doll dressed in a recreation of the golden Versace look she wore in the iconic 1994 “Real Barbie” Vogue Italia shoot with Ellen von Unwerth.
And for her 50th birthday in 2020, it feted her with two one-of-a-kind dolls, dressed in the aforementioned Versace look, as well as in a reinterpretation of a black Balmain dress Schiffer modeled in Olivier Rousteing’s Spring 2016 collection.
Schiffer, 53, says it’s been “surreal” seeing herself as a Barbie “considering I had played my whole childhood with them. It felt like it was a shame that only I got to enjoy the dolls, so I’m thrilled to be sharing them with the world.”
She calls the partnership with Mattel “a mutual love affair that has grown over time.”
“My good friend Ynon Kreiz became CEO [of Mattel] and he thought it was crazy no one had the chance to buy one.”
Ahead, Schiffer speaks to PEOPLE about her favorite Versace looks, seeing a nod to one of her previous fashion moments on the Barbie tour and her fashion philosophy now.
PEOPLE: While your previous Barbies were created just for you, the world got to see them in their glory. After those Barbies were revealed to the world, what were your favorite reactions?
Schiffer: It was so exciting to see how many people loved the dolls and the strong connection these fashion moments, which, of course, were so special to me and my career.
The fashion looks (Balmain and Versace’s gold dress as well as the Versace blue runway look) were so beautifully brought to life by the Mattel team, they really resonated with fans of the '90s and fashion in general.
PEOPLE: When you look back to the day you wore the Versace outfit your new Barbie is wearing, what do you remember about the experience?
Schiffer: Wearing that gorgeous gown in the Versace runway show in 1994 was a moment I will never forget. At the time, Versace was pioneering a new form of presentation and it really felt like a rock concert. They projected fashion into a cultural phenomenon.
We walked to an amazing Prince track with hundreds of photographers lining the catwalk, only to see Prince himself sitting there in the front row. The atmosphere was electric. I never had any idea that this moment would continue to live on in the way it has, and I couldn’t have dreamed that it would end up as a look for my own Claudia Schiffer Barbie.
PEOPLE: You just partnered with Versace to walk their runway, your first time since 2018. What inspired you to come back, and what was the experience like?
Schiffer: Remembering Gianni and also celebrating Donatella. I have been working and been friends with Versace over 30 years. Donatella is a fashion icon but also warm-hearted, gentle and genuine person. When I went back for the show, it felt like I’m back with my Italian friends and family.
PEOPLE: During the massive Barbie tour, one of the many looks Margot Robbie wore was one inspired by the Versace minidress you wore in 1994. What was your reaction when you heard the news?
Schiffer: I was very flattered to see Margot wearing some of my '90s looks and I guess it proves that true fashion doesn’t go out of style. It brings back great memories and I thought she embodied the spirit of the look and Barbie so well.
PEOPLE: Of all the Versace looks you've worn, which would you like to have recreated for you to wear now?
Schiffer: Of course, I love the cerulean, semi-sheer floor-length gown, with faille taffeta bustier, modeled by my Claudia Schiffer Barbie featuring even the strappy heels I wore with it.
Other favorites include the metallic miniskirts from the A/W 94 collection in gold, pale pink and pale blue worn with cropped sweaters and high-knee boots in matching colors. Richard Avedon captured the look for the A/W campaign and featured it in his recent retrospective. The image embodies the fun, glamor and artistry of the supermodel era and I still have and wear the look today; it’s timeless and still on trend.
What's your personal style philosophy and how, if at all, has growing up with Versace and Barbie influenced it?
Schiffer: I’d describe my personal style as quite instinctive. I choose outfits that feel effortless without rules. For me, individuality and self-expression are what matters. I do love going back through my wardrobe archive; I still wear old favorites and have a whole treasure trove from the '90s. Each of those moments stands for a very special memory. I hope my daughters will continue to bring these special pieces into the future as well.
PEOPLE: What's your favorite thing about being a Barbie?
Schiffer: My Barbie stands for happy memories; [both] growing up playing with the dolls and then later alongside with my daughters, and great memories of playing Barbie for some fashion shoots like the one with Ellen von Unwerth for Italian Vogue.
I hope this doll can continue to inspire fans to dream big and follow their passions just like the Barbies of the past have done for me.
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