Mattel and Gap on Wednesday announced an apparel collaboration based on the toy maker’s brands and using some classic Gap designs. The first release is a Gap x Barbie collection of tees, skirts, logo hoodies, denim, button-downs and accessories as well as pet apparel.
The items, which will feature Barbie branding and Gap’s signature arch typeface, will be available as of May 23 on gap.com and in select Gap stores globally. Mattel will sell some styles via Mattel Creations, its collector and direct-to-consumer platform.
Later this year the companies will unveil a collection based on Mattel’s Hot Wheels toys, they said in an emailed press release.
Barbie has decades of experience collaborating with all sorts of apparel designers and brands, most recently adding Forever 21 and Balmain to her portfolio. Intensifying anticipation around the upcoming Barbie movie is stoking the hype around all things Barbie.
Meanwhile, Hot Wheels is perhaps Mattel’s second-hottest commodity. Last month the company said it expects its doll and vehicle businesses to drive its sales growth.
“We are excited to partner with Gap to combine Mattel’s iconic brand portfolio with Gap’s signature products,” Josh Silverman, Mattel’s chief franchise officer and global head of consumer products, said in a statement.
The tie-up may be a good change of pace for Gap. The struggling brand is coming off its ill-fated partnership with Kanye West, also known as Ye, announced in 2020. After a painfully slow rollout, the collaboration imploded last year, though the designer himself said he was done with it before Gap did. Shortly after, as Ye continued with a litany of racist and antisemitic remarks and social media posts, Gap followed Adidas in saying it would no longer sell items from their collaboration.
In the Gap brand’s most recent quarter, net sales fell 9% to $1.1 billion, with comps down 4%; the shutdown of Yeezy Gap sapped growth by 2 percentage points in North America, where comps fell 5%. Parent Gap Inc. has yet to name a chief executive, though the company said in March that it was nearing a decision.
Gap chief merchant Christopher Goble in a statement said its “partnership with Mattel represents two iconic brands collaborating on products that customers can wear as a family, pets included, and have fun. Each launch will celebrate our optimistic spirit of individuality and connection through creative expression and play. I can’t wait for people around the world to create memories with Gap x Mattel.”