Kim Culmone, SVP Design at Mattel, and her team have led a remarkable transformation of the Barbie brand to become more inclusive and relevant to a new generation of children by creating the most diverse doll on the planet - a feat which landed her work on the cover of Time magazine and returned the doll to billion-dollar sales again. In this episode, Kim shares how her team boldly set out to make Mattel’s first gender-fluid doll, giving transgender kids the space to imagine a world without limitations and boundaries, and help create a society where everyone is welcome, connected, and celebrated.
At the heart of Kim’s creative process is the belief that design is a powerful tool for positive impact. She currently holds the position of SVP, Design at Mattel Inc where she sets the creative vision for some of the most iconic and ground-breaking doll brands in the world. In 2015 Kim was responsible for leading a Barbie product reinvention (featured in the Hulu documentary “Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie”) that generated 5 billion media impressions, secured a TIME cover, and received the coveted “Doll of the Year Award” from The Toy Association. Today Barbie is the most diverse doll line on the market and includes dolls representing various ethnicities, body types, and physical abilities. Mostly recently, Kim and her team made history again by introducing Creatable World, the first ever gender inclusive doll line that “keeps labels out and invites everyone in”.