While Barbie dolls have gotten more diverse over the years, many young black girls, and parents of black young girls, alike are still seeking a wider range of options when shopping for dolls. Model Mala Bryan is hoping to bridge the gap with her new line of Malaville Dolls.
As a working model, Bryan, who hails from St. Lucia, is especially privy to the importance of diverse representation. A doll enthusiast for years, she was first inspired to create her own line after struggling to find black Barbie dolls while shopping in her native country.
Bryan created the Malaville Dolls, which features beautiful black dolls in different skin tones with different textures and styles of natural hair.
“The focus was for the hair texture, the skin tone and natural/no make to be relatable,” Bryan says. “I chose the hair fibers from kinky curls to a loose curl.”
The dolls also sport colorful, fashion-forward outfits inspired by clothing styles from Africa and Afro-Caribbean cultures.
Bryan regular shares images of the dolls on Instagram, and even gives them names and backstories.