I was given a Barbie in 1975 when I was 9 years old. Barbie was first created in 1959 but a newer, more modern version was brought out in 1971, it was this version that I had.
We lived on a remote island in the West Indies and she was a treasured gift from the United States, where these things could be purchased. I didn't want to be Barbie or look like Barbie, I was a tomboy who didn't like pink and spent most of my days barefoot in shorts. My Barbie was dark haired and she came in a psychedelic pantsuit, it was Barbie who inspired my career in fashion design. She had only one outfit and there wasn't a shop on the island that sold Barbie outfits! My mother, herself a non- girly science graduate, taught me to sew. I glued, hand stitched and used the sewing machine in my creation of clothes for Barbie, I still have some of them today.
We later moved to England where a degree in fashion design and textiles started my career in fashion. Living in Sydney, I now run my own business, designing clothes for real women of all shapes and sizes.
Sadly my original brunette Barbie has been lost in various moves across the world, one of the first original Ruth Tate outfits is shown on my daughter's Barbie.