Robert Best

VP, Doll Design at Mattel

Twenty years ago, a talented young fashion designer met his muse. That designer is Robert Best and his inspiration was Barbie. After designing for Donna Karan and Isaac Mizrahi, Best came to Mattel to design for the world’s most fashionable doll and has since made an indelible impression on the brand. While at Mattel, Best has designed countless dolls representing characters from film and television, top celebrities and musicians. Additionally, many luxury fashion designers have entrusted Best to faithfully re-create their designs in Barbie scale. A crowning achievement came in 2000 when Best created the prestigious "Barbie Fashion Model Collection," an original line that celebrates Barbie as the ultimate fashion model. Rooted in the romance of the 50’s and 60’s and inspired by Best’s love affair with black-and-white films and his passion for classics like Balenciaga and Dior, the designs are timeless, instantly identifiable and thoroughly Barbie. In 2010, the Barbie Fashion Model Collection book was published, celebrating 10 years of the collection that can truly be called the “Best of Barbie.” Best studied fashion design at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York and was awarded “Student Designer of the Year” upon graduating. “One of my instructors told me that my sketches looked like Barbie," said Best. "So maybe it was prophetic.” Best gained pop culture fame himself in 2006 when he appeared on the wildly popular and long-running reality series Project Runway. Best and Barbie have been an extraordinary match. “My experience designing for Barbie has enabled me to reach more people than I ever did working in high fashion,” said Best. “In that aspect, Barbie is unique. Muse to some of the most influential fashion houses of all time, Barbie is also a toy that fires the imagination of children everywhere.”



  • VP, Doll Design

    Current role

  • Senior Director, Barbie Design

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