This summer’s global blockbuster movie has undoubtedly been Barbie. The fantasy comedy inspired by Mattel’s iconic fashion doll has taken over $1.2 billion at box offices worldwide, breaking multiple records in the process.
Directed by Greta Gerwig, the live action movie starring Margot Robbie in the title role and Ryan Gosling as Ken starts in the pink-perfect world of Barbie Land and follows Barbie on a hilarious journey of self-discovery as she enters the world of humans.
Barbie fans of all ages have flocked to see the movie, although its appeal has gone far beyond those who idolise the doll or the film’s lead actress Robbie. There have been hundreds of articles about the critically acclaimed film with diverse story angles ranging from the revolutionary essence of Barbie who showed girls a world beyond babies to her stunning outfits in the movie.
Many from the world of fashion have been consumed with how to recreate Barbie’s flawless looks. The person behind the hit movie’s styling is Oscar-winning British costume designer Jacqueline Durran. She told media that she had carefully created Barbie’s wardrobe based on different looks American toy manufacturer Mattel had used for the doll since it was first launched back in 1959.
Barbie’s looks include her footwear, which have also generated heaps of conversation, not least the two eye-catching pink mules that Robbie dons in the movie, both designed by Turkish Cypriot-owned GINA Shoes.
The film’s official trailer starts with a leg shot of Margot Robbie as she steps out of a pair of showstopping high-heeled baby pink satin mules. Its dazzling heels are adorned with Swarovski crystals and the mule’s vamp has a playful pink feather trim. Called the Malibu, GINA retails this hand-produced luxury ladies’ shoe at £795.
Another design by GINA Shoes, the Margot, also features in the Barbie movie. Similar to the Malibu, the Margot is a high-heeled baby pink satin mule with an elegant pink bow replacing the fluff on the vamp. A pair can be yours for £695, but you will need to join the waiting list.
Both the Malibu and Margot are hand crafted in GINA’s North London atelier and such is the demand for this gorgeous footwear after their appearance in Barbie, that the retailer has advised its customers delivery of them will take longer than usual: “due to overwhelming global demand, please be aware that your handmade MALIBU/MARGOT shoes may take slightly longer to deliver than usual.”
About GINA Shoes and its Turkish Cypriot founder
Celebrity associations has long become part of the GINA brand, which has been around since the 1950s. Its founder, Turkish Cypriot master shoemaker Mehmet Kurdash, had learnt his trade at his uncle’s shoe factory in Nicosia, Cyprus.
The young Mehmet, whose family hailed from Peristerona a village in the foothills of the Troodos mountains, opted to try his luck abroad, intending to move to Australia with a stop in London first.
Once in the British capital, Mehmet met a Swiss woman, Margaret Pauli, who had plans to head to India and work with the Red Cross. Instead, the pair fell in love and decided to stay in England, where they married and formed a family-run shoe business in 1954.
Mehmet Kurdash adored Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, after whom he named his business. His workshop, and later factory, was located in Dalston, East London, and within a short time the name ‘Gina’ became synonymous with elegant leather shoes.
The first GINA boutique opened in London’s prestigious Knightsbridge in 1991, moving to its flagship store location at 189 Sloane Street three years later.
In 1999, GINA opened its couture salon in Mayfair’s Old Bond Street and, according to its website, its decadent collection included “mules finished with 19-carat white gold buckles inlaid with 36 princess-cut diamonds”, prompting the Guinness Book of Records to acknowledge them “as the world’s most expensive shoes at that time.
The late Princess Diana was one of GINA’s early fans. Her fashion sense and royal status attracted global media attention, turning her into an icon, and she was regularly photographed in a pair of GINA shoes.
Mehmet Kurdash passed away in 2010, but the brand continues to grow under the careful management of his three sons.
Today, GINA’s luxury handmade women’s shoes, boots, sandals and accessories are sold all over the world and its clientele includes numerous celebrities, including Madonna, Diana Ross, Kate Winslet, Cardi B, Emma Watson, and Billie Eilish.
A recent celebrity collaboration was for Beyonce. The queen of R&B wore custom-made boots by GINA couture to go with her matching Richard Quinn outfit during her Renaissance World Tour.
GINA shoes have also featured in numerous films, from Catwoman to Wonder Woman, and in the 007 James Bond series, including Casino Royal.
The latest tie-up with Barbie will ensure the visibility of the GINA brand continues to grow and shine worldwide.
The film is still showing at select cinemas, with digital release scheduled for the US – and hopefully the UK too – for September of this year, so if you’ve yet to see the film you can watch it from the comfort of your home.
Main image, top, of 1) Margot Robbie in Warner Bros. Pictures “Barbie”, photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures. 2) GINA Shoes Malibu pink mule, photo © GINA. 3) Still from Warner Bros. Pictures “Barbie” showing a leg of Margot Robbie as Barbie and a pair of GINA Malibu pink mule shows.