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Bye, Bye Barbie: Bratz Dolls are the New Fashion and Footwear Muse

Barbiecore may have been the talk of the summer, but moving into 2024 and beyond, Bratz Dolls are having a moment, thanks to their teenage angst and attitude.

Bratz Dolls
Image Courtesy of Target

As a Millennial, I’m constantly  spotting trends from my youth in the early aughts. Think: butterfly clips, cargo pants, flare jeans, mesh fabric, crop tops, chunky loafers, and corsets. And as I dug through FSNYE images from this year’s show, I was struck with one thought: We’ve gone full-on Bratz.

Barbiecore may have been the talk of the summer, but moving into 2024 and beyond, Bratz Dolls are the ultimate Gen Z muse. Bratz are perhaps the anti-Barbie with their teenage angst and attitude. They were the epitome of tween fashion, and are having a moment (read: collab with Kylie Jenner) with the rise of Y2K fashion trends. The Bratz website even delivers the nostalgia consumers crave so dearly. Its interface feels like a Xanga or Livejournal page from 2004, star-trailed cursor and all. 


Valentina Rangoni display at FSNYE

The Bratz Attitude of Y2K Fashion

Bratz Dolls perfectly capture the Y2K zeitgeist that saw Britney and Justin in matching denim, Paris Hilton on a pig farm, and Jessica Simpson debating the merits of tuna fish. Their DGAF attitude, love for color, and waist-accentuating proportions are setting the new style rules. Millennials may cling to high-waist jeans and “sad beige” neutrals, but the younger set is declaring otherwise.

When it comes to footwear, ultra chunky platform boots balance micro mini skirts, sky-high stilettos pair with shorts (hard swallow), and mesh slides perfectly complement capri pants (yes, they’re back also). And for color inspiration, look no farther than the Bratz logo itself—a bright magenta/purple (dubbed “power purple” on Tiktok), which is continuing to trend upward. 

Image courtesy of Forever 21

Hot pink (we’ll give you this one, Barbie), cobalt blue, orange, and even highlighter yellow are in the limelight as well, and they can all be worn together for a freewheeling mood à la Lizzie McGuire, with piled-on accessories. Or as a 2001 Bratz commercial declared, “Don’t theorize, accessorize.” 

The June 2024 Issue

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