TransGriot Note: The Mattel AKA Barbie final design has yet to be released. While searching for a photo of it I stumbled across a picture of the Ivy Rose doll, which is available at Sisterhood Boutique
The pretty girls that wear twenty pearls and the TransGriot will be expanding our Barbie collections soon. In honor of AKA's centennial birthday tomorrow, Mattel Inc. will produce a collectible Barbie based on Alpha Kappa Alpha.
According to Elizabeth Grampp, director of Barbie collector marketing, upon learning that Alpha Kappa Alpha is marking its 100th anniversary this year, Mattel sought licensing for the doll.
While Mattel has produced African-American Barbie collectible dolls before, it's the first Barbie in the company's flagship brand based on any sorority and any predominately African-American organization.
"When you pair that milestone with an organization representing an amazing cross section of women who are empowered leaders in any field, it's a real opportunity to introduce the hobby of collecting to a new group of collectors," Grampp said. "It's such a landmark event."
The AKA Barbie doll will be dressed in an evening gown. Prominent in the ensemble will be the official pink and green colors of the sorority. Alpha Kappa Alpha kicks off its centennial celebration in Washington, DC this weekend, where the sorority was founded on the Howard University campus on January 15, 1908.
The Mattel partnership is one of several corporate deals that comes as Alpha Kappa Alpha is in the midst of implementing policy initiatives that puts emphasis of its programs on micro and macro economics. It's being pushed by Centennial President Barbara A. McKinzie, who is finance director at Chicago's Neighborhood Housing Services.
"Economics is the central focus of everything we do," said McKinzie, whose tenure began in 2006. "My vision was to make economics as much of a core competency as service has been to Alpha Kappa Alpha for the last 100 years."
Last year AKA's biennial leadership conference was moved to New Orleans from a planned cruise to infuse about $5 million into that city's economy. College chapters are charged with providing computer training to community members.
And the approximately 1,000 AKA chapters around the globe are conducting investment and financial literacy workshops for youth, seniors and chapter members.
For your Barbie collectors like moi, the AKA doll will cost about $50, and be available through BarbieCollector.com, the Barbie Collector catalog, other outlets and in partnership with the sorority.
The final design for the doll, which the sorority selected from three submissions, will be unveiled at Alpha Kappa Alpha's 100th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC Saturday. The Centennial Boule will also be held in Washington, DC later this summer.