So In Style Dolls (First Wave)

Name: So in Style (S.I.S.) Two-Doll Themed Sets

Made by and When: Mattel, 2009

Material: Vinyl

Height: 11-1/2 and 5 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth: All dolls have rooted hair with painted eyes and smiling mouths. Grace and Courtney have brunette ponytails with bangs. Kara has auburn hair styled in two side ponytails; Kianna is blonde with two curly ponytails. Trichelle and Janessa have black hair with two ponytails; Trichelle’s ponytails are curly. Chandra has waist-length loose hair; Janessa’s hair is in a bun with sideswept bangs.

Clothes: Grace and Courtney have a cheerleader theme and wear pink-and-green-fashions inspired by AKA colors. These two have cheerleader accessories. Kara and Kianna’s theme is music. Their clothing is denim inspired with music-themed accessories including a violin for Kianna and a karaoke for Kara. Trichelle and Janessa’s theme is art. They have art accessories and are each dressed in a T-shirt, denim jeans, and bolero sweater. Ballet is Chandra and Zahara’s theme. They are dressed in plum, purple, and fuchsia ballet costumes and have ballet accessories. All dolls wear shoes.

Other: Released in 2009, designed by Stacey McBride-Irby (former Mattel Project Designer), these giftsets are the first S.I.S. dolls released with the Chandra giftset being released last and apparently not widely released. Several different waves followed with additional dolls added (e.g. Grace’s boyfriend Darren and their friend Marisa). Not all dolls were released in subsequent waves. Trichelle is missing from some releases. The three core dolls are Grace, Kara and Chandra. McBride-Irby’s’ concept for the So in Style line was that Barbie’s friend, Grace (the main S.I.S. character), moved to Chicago to attend school where she met other friends.

Reminiscent of the Shani line to better reflect African American features, S.I.S. dolls have broader facial features, curvier bodies than the Barbies at the time this line was released, and their complexions vary from light-medium (Grace), medium (Kara), and ebony (Chandra). See all the dolls in the slideshow below and view the video wherein the designer fully describes the debut line.

Read more about Stacey McBride-Irby and learn about her doll designs independent of Mattel here.

Slideshow

Video

For email subscribers: If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, be sure to click the post title in the email which will link you to the website to view all photos, slideshows, and/or associated videos for the installation.

Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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