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Beyoncé stylist, Zerina Akers Collaborates with Barbie Celebrating Black-Female Voices

by Sabrina Walls

Zerina Akers is most known for working with Beyoncé for the film Black is King that drove her to the peak of her career scoring her an Emmy in costume design. Her work in Black is King incorporated elements of African culture with a modern look of female black power that adds uniqueness to the style and history behind the designs. Akers, an Emmy winner, wardrobe curator, and costume designer is now pairing up with Barbie, launching the release of her new line of female black dolls. This collab has fans buzzing over new styles, hair-dos, and black-female representation. 

Every doll gives a completely different vibe when it comes to hair, clothes, shoes, and accessories. The work that she has put into creating each doll tells a story that many are happy to see. The dolls represent all types of women; there is a girl boss strutting down Manhattan with her tanned-heeled boots paired with an orange sweater vest and gold bracelet. A trendsetter mixing elements of fur and a modern cocktail dress with orange hops down to the shoulder. And one that is just straight fierce with a puffy shoulder short dress with bold colors of blue and purple (and don’t get me started on the effortless braided updo). And we can not forget to mention one doll that looks a little too similar to the Queen Bee with a simple black dress and the centerpiece being a gold sequin necklace perfectly matching the gold bracelets.  

Prior to receiving her Emmy, Akers has worked with clients from The Hollywood Reporter, Essence, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and Glamour. She has designed for actors and singers like Chole X Halle, curating two signature sister styles for their 2020 Forgive Me music video incorporating elements of a black bedazzled top with a fashion-forward buckle bracelet and matte-finished silver coffin nails. Niecy Nash-Betts rocked a series of signature pieces for the cover shoot for Essence Magazine’s Summer 2017 issue. 

This new line is in celebration of Black History Month and is just one more stepping stone toward creating space to showcase artists that continue to influence today’s generation. Akers commented on her recent collab on Instagram saying “I was inspired by solidarity amongst women, and celebrating our differences as Black women. We are not a monolith, we are so many things, and encompass so many things through our style”. 

And we can’t overlook her brand Black Owned Everything, founded in 2020. Where she brings together local black-owned businesses with a focus on fashion, beauty, and design. Showcasing brands, accessories, home decor, and clothing provide a wide variety of options to everyone. Separated by different collections it makes it easy to stick within one brand that speaks to you or explore other amazing black-owned brands. 

Some of my favorite pieces that speak to my style, are the Kingston Custered Complex from the Shade of Shades Collection. Now I might not be a tennis girly but I am loving this Rally Terry Halter Dress in Pink from the Recreational Habits Collection. And lastly, I would have to splurge on a Murway Beach Tote

In the launch of the new collab with Barbie, one doll gave masculine and androgynous energy while showcasing a sweatpants and jogger set that can be bought on her website. The set is in dark black with the Black Owned Everything logo on both fronts of the set styled with neon green sneakers. And to top it all off, the doll’s hairstyle is buzzed with her ends laid out. She brings light to female masculinity and how often it is overlooked in media.

Akers reminds us what she came here to do, she shows us that everyone should celebrate our past and those who have come before us. As a black woman, I know that her work collaborating with music icons and bringing awareness to those that are looked down upon is something worth celebrating. Her fashion, styles, and designs give women something to be proud of. While the styles were not officially released, we will wait for them to go up. I will be having my eyes out for the doll with the thigh-high leather boots, bright pink cashmere sweater, with glamoured shades, and small hoops. 

Happy Black History Month, I just hope that I get a doll before they sell out! 


Top Image: Mattel

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