In what could only be called an improbable collaboration, Italian luxury automaker Maserati announced a collaboration with Mattel Inc.’s Barbie to produce an ultra-limited-edition Maserati Grecale, the marque’s newest SUV. The partnership is a result of one of this summer’s latest online trends: Barbiecore.
Haven’t heard of it? Well, the best way to sum it up is to think pink.
What is Barbiecore?
In the previous year, pink has established itself as a fashionable mainstay, with TikTokers dubbing hot pink Barbiecore, named after Mattel’s Barbie doll. Barbie was introduced in 1959, making her the ultimate midcentury modern. Given the popularity of midcentury modern among those too young to remember it, the trend is just another cultural reboot.
But the hip factor was reinvigorated when photos of actress Margot Robbie, star of the upcoming Barbie movie, surfaced earlier this year. The movie is scheduled to be released in 2023.
A hot fashion trend
Glamour magazine reports that Barbiecore is the reason that pink minidress sales have skyrocketed 970% since January. Similarly, pink bikini purchases are up 343% in the same period, while pink sunglass sales have risen 198 percent.
The color has even reached the rarified world of haute couture. In March, fashion house Valentino debuted the color Valentino Pink PP, named for creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Since then, the hue has been seen on fashionable women for numerous high-profile events, including Glenn Close at the 2022 Met Gala.
But that only cemented it; the trend has been on the rise since at least 2019, when Barbiecore Pinterest boards first started appearing before becoming a TikTok hashtag in the past year or two. It’s even a commonly employed search term on Etsy. How trendy is Barbiecore? Consider that Kardashians have thrown Barbie-themed birthday parties, complete with pink Barbie birthday cakes, and then you’ll have some idea.
And if you think the trend is merely for women, guess again. Justin Bieber was spotted at the 2022 Grammys sporting a hot pink beanie, while singer Harry Styles has donned outfits trimmed in pink feathers.
Maserati and Mattel’s trendy contribution
The Barbie Maserati Grecale is a limited edition produced under Maserati’s Fuoriserie customization program. The automaker will offer the new trim in two models, but has only revealed the first one, which will be offered as one of the 2022 Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts at the retailer’s Los Angeles holiday party.
Of course, the car is bathed in Barbie-iconic hot pink, but the emphasis on this SUV is hot. It’s based on the high-performance Grecale Trofeo, powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 adapted from the MC20 hypercar. Dubbed the Nettuno V-6 by Maserati, the powerplant generates 530 horsepower through an 8-speed automatic to all four wheels. An air suspension and adaptive dampers are standard. Looks like Barbie lovers are in for a good time.
It starts with the exterior’s hot pink hue, which is accented with acid yellow lines and a Barbie logo sealed with an iridescent topcoat that creates a rainbow effect when hit by sunlight. Inside, the interior is trimmed with full-leather seats, dashboards, carpets and doors. It’s accented with pink stitching and branded headrests.
The other Barbie model will be announced in 2023, according to Maserati. The company didn’t reveal production volume, pricing or on-sale date. Odds are, it will coincide with the release of the new Barbie movie.
One thing’s for sure. This ain’t no Malibu, Barbie.