Say hello to Robert Best! He’s a fashion designer and illustrator for Mattel and is the head designer of the limited edition Gold Label Signature Barbie Hello Kitty doll.
Robert is also famous for his appearance on Season 3 of Project Runway, the reality show that follows fashion designers as they compete against each other in a series of challenges that show off their skills and ability to make stunning creations.
Robert stopped by Sanrio HQ last week so we could chat about the Hello Kitty Barbie. This Q&A was originally featured on Hello Kitty’s Instagram Stories, but here it is in case you missed it!
How many years have you worked with Mattel?
I’ve worked at Mattel for 22 years now.
What was your inspiration for the Barbie Hello Kitty Doll?
I just wanted the Barbie to really to look like Hello Kitty and be inspired by Hello Kitty.
How many different designs did you come up with before arriving on the final design?
I think there were about three kinds of iterations and they are sort of looked similar, but the final one was arrived at after three tries.
Where do you think that Barbie would go in this outfit?
I think Barbie could go wherever she wants because she looks amazing! It looks like it would be fun for her and Hello Kitty to go shopping, or maybe go catch a movie or something… just kind of casual, but cute and fun.
What is your favorite detail about the Barbie Hello Kitty Doll?
My favorite detail is actually the red pop of color in Barbie’s hair, which I love because of course, it's Hello Kitty’s sort of signature color.
The Barbie Hello Kitty Doll has beautiful platinum blonde hair with a stylish red pop of color. Have you ever dyed your hair any crazy colors?
I’ve done my hair all sorts of horrible colors. You know how you’re young and you think it’s a good idea… I’ve been platinum, redhead, dark black, goth period, all bad. Now I’m silver… dyed not grey.
Who’s your favorite Sanrio character?
I think Hello Kitty is the ultimate, but my other favorite would be Chococat. I love Chococat because he’s kind of my style, which is all black, all the time.
Do you have a favorite Sanrio memory?
I love remembering when I was little and you would be in a Sanrio shop or when you would see Sanrio toys, it had a very specific smell and I always think of that and it brings me great joy.
If you could pick another Sanrio character to design another Barbie fashion ensemble for, who would it be?
I mean it’s tough to have to choose… it’s like trying to decide a favorite child because I love Chococat, but I want to do Keroppi and of course my Melody. It’s like; they’re all awesome so let’s just do all of them, all the time
Here’s a little more insight from Robert Best on the design process, check it out!