Barbie was first conceived by Ruth Handler, who was inspired by a German doll called “Lilli”. Ruth and her husband, Elliot, joined with a man named Harold Mattson and formed the Mattel toy company, and launched the first Barbie doll in 1958.

Barbie and Ken were named after the Handler’s own children. Barbie’s wardrobe was originally designed by Charlotte Johnson, a well known and respected fashion designer. Over the next ten years, the original Barbie family was created and included Midge, Allan, Skipper, Scooter, and Ricky, in addition to Barbie and Ken.

Since 1965, over 60 new family members and friends have been added to the Barbie and Ken collection. If Barbie were life-sized, her measurements would have originally been 39-23-33, but she has since been slightly updated to reflect the changing size of American and global consumers.