Founded in 2017, I’m a Girly has garnered rave reviews in Europe for its dolls but has remained invisible in the United States. That is, until this year. For 2020, the Swiss company has vowed to bring its high-quality 18-inch dolls, wardrobes, and accessories, to North America. It will also unveil its first-rate styling heads and its wide array of interchangeable wigs. If you or your child love the ability to indulge in hands-on hair play, I’m a Girly is your designated doll.
Naturally, when a new brand is attempting to break through into the marketplace, there is always few hiccups and hesitations. For this company, their name proved to be a source of derision. Many parents and mom bloggers in the United Kingdom mocked a toy line called I’m a Girly as being regressive and chauvinistic.
The brand is the brainchild of onetime banker Theresia Le Battistini. After her daughter was born, she stepped away from her demanding job, but she remained receptive to business opportunities. Remembering how much she loved to play with dolls, Le Battistini surveyed the toy aisle with a critical eye. She felt that the dolls looked outdated and outmoded. She decided to do something about that.
As a founding member of Finfin AG and the managing director of its I’m a Girly line, Le Battistini disagrees when adults snipe at the brand. She makes sure that each of the dolls is reflective of different ethnic backgrounds and has a personal, inspirational storyline. Even more important, Le Battistini placed the creative directions and artistic choices in the hands of actual children.
“When I’m a Girly was founded, our design team of Kids4Kids was created at the same time,” she stressed. “It is a panel that consists of boys and girls, and they meet regularly to discuss and design new clothing and accessory collections.”
Yes, it’s quite remarkable that the advisors to this company are all tweens and early teens. The panel, comprised of boys and girls, runs the range of 9- to 14-year-olds. They are responsible for telling the brand exactly how the finished products should look, what kids prefer to have in their playrooms, and why something is a hit or a miss.
Besides the junior designers, other kids are also encouraged to withdraw from their figurative piggybank and put in their own two cents. I’m a Girly seeks out personal preferences and suggestions from their collectors and social media followers. “Children regularly get the chance to design new clothes and accessories, and to get to participate in the creative process,” Le Battistini reveals.
At store events, public showings, and at conventions/gatherings, I’m a Girly hosts competition events and design challenges. On its social media platforms, the company invites users to share their own thoughts and impressions. “Young fans of the brand have the opportunity to actively influence future designs. In this way, I’m a Girly can ensure that the products are tailored to its customers’ needs.”
Currently, the line of dolls has received positive acclaim from the folks who champion and collect it. In Europe, the brand became synonymous with upscale retail. The dolls were deliberately placed in noted fashion and marketing capitals like London, Paris, and Berlin. Well-heeled, upper-echelon department stores sold them directly, while the brand’s website also did heavy traffic.
Naturally, when a line of dolls is peddled as being very stylish and posh, they attract the attention of Posh Spice herself, Victoria Beckham. The former Spice Girl, and fashion influencer, is a fan of the dolls. On her Instagram account, she posted a fun shot of her daughter, Harper, and her famous hubby, David, posing with one of the creations. The Beckhams have been vocal proponents of the dolls and have hosted parties for their daughter that involved the 8-year-old and her peers engaging in styling and accessorizing.
“We have been getting incredible reactions and endorsements in the past two years. They have come from the ‘kid next door’ to celebrities,” Daniel Ammerschuber, business development manager for the brand, has stated. “Now we are ready to cross the pond.”
I’m a Girly is poised for that international, global expansion. However, the Swiss company does rely upon China for its manufacturing. With recent shutdowns of the factories, and the Asian workforce being quarantined, they might have to recalculate their big 2020 releases. For now, they have their current inventory, which is new and exciting to North Americans.
Doll Chronicles will keep readers posted about their 2020 plans and whether I’m a Girly will infiltrate the toy market with its brand-new I’m a Wow line.