Barbie partners with Izzy Wheels to present four limited-edition designs inspired by 60 years of Barbie.
Barbie has teamed up with Izzy Wheels, tapping into fashion designers and artists to create a capsule collection of expressive wheelchair wheel covers for adults and children.
Izzy Wheels is a Dublin-based brand founded by two Irish sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane. The idea was inspired by Izzy who was born with Spina Bifida and is paralysed from her waist down. Her sister Ailbhe began designing a range of stylish wheel covers, for what was initialling a school project, that expressed wheelchair users individuality and personality, transforming a medical device into a piece of fashion and self-expression.
The new collection presents four limited-edition designs, inspired by 60 years of Barbie. The stylish and fun wheel covers are available in sizing for any manual wheelchair, and in a special Barbie-scale edition for the Barbie with Wheelchair doll. The covers have been designed by four fashion designs and artists – including London-based inclusive fashion label Art School and graphic artists Malika Favre, Hattie Stewart and Annu Kilpeläinen. The wheel covers will be available from today on IzzyWheels.com, whilst the Barbie with Wheelchair dolls are available now from UK toy stores.
Barbie evolved the Fashionistas line to include dolls with physical disabilities this year, including a doll with a wheelchair and a doll with a prosthetic limb. These are the first Barbie dolls with disabilities since the 1997 Share a Smile Becky doll – which has been a mascot in the Izzy Wheels office since the brand began. The new collection is a celebration of championing diversity and self-expression through fashion.
Izzy Keane said: “Izzy Wheels empower wheelchair users to make a statement about themselves, it makes a person’s wheelchair into a friendly object rather than something purely functional. Having stylish wheels on your chair that match your outfit or show off your interests immediately addresses the chair and opens conversation. Having a Barbie in a wheelchair meant so much to me as a little girl, and I love that a whole new generation of kids with disabilities can play with a Barbie that represents them.”
Ailbhe Keane added: “Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalising their source of independence. We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self-expression. Fashion and fun are at the heart of what we do, and we’re thrilled to work with talented designers to pay homage to Barbie in her 60th year and celebrate dolls with even more diversity.”