The designer gets a Barbie "One of A Kind" doll that looks exactly just like her.


Legendary Indonesian fashion designer Anne Avantie or Bunda Anne became the first Indonesian woman to earn the honor to be immortalized as a Barbie One of A Kind (OOAK) doll specially made to resemble her.

The award was given by Mattel Indonesia to Bunda Anne on December 18, owing to the inspiring story of her 32-year journey as a fashion icon. The award is part of the Barbie Role Model program, an initiative of Barbie to highlight the stories and stories of great women around the world since 2015.

It plays an important part in Barbie's ongoing global initiative, the Dream Gap Project, which aims to expose girls from all walks of life to inspiring stories to show them that they can be anything they want to be.

"As a brand whose mission is to inspire girls, Barbie recognizes great women around the world who can be role models for them," said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel.

"I am very happy and grateful to receive this award from Barbie, especially if I can be an example and inspiration for girls in achieving their dreams," said Bunda Anne. She dedicated the award to her mother, whom she refers to as her main inspiration.

"My dream is actually just to make my mother happy. All my life, I don't want to be anything. I just want Mami to be proud of me and for Mami to be happy," said the 67-year-old woman.

Barbie has given this award to several women all over the world. Among them is Farah Ann, a floor gymnast from Malaysia.

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The inspiring designer
As a recipient of the 2021 Barbie Role Model award from Indonesia, the Bunda Anne doll is designed in such a way that it genuinely represents the designer figure, complete with her signature updo bun with a frangipani flower decoration on the right.

The designer said that she regarded the frangipani flower, often found in tombs, as the most loyal flower in the world because it accompanies humans from birth to their final resting place. It's part of the things that inspire her to be a loyal figure in spreading kindness.

The doll wears a simple traditional black kebaya styled with a draping piece of batik cloth over the shoulder as an inseparable part of Anne Avantie and her daily style that constantly shows her love for Indonesian culture.

"Mattel chose my own photos and profiles that were already circulating," she said. "I found out after Barbie sent the photo."

"Initially, I thought it was a joke. Maybe during the pandemic, many people have no better things to do. I thought it was a hoax at first," said Bunda Anne in Helmy Yahya Talk's YouTube channel recently. "When Mattel Indonesia proposed a schedule for Zoom meeting, I started to believe that that this is real."

"I had only one thing in my mind, who am I?" she continued. The designer said many people doubted that she could reach the place she is now. "I only finished junior high school." 

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Born in Semarang, May 20, 1954, as Sianne Avantie, the designer is no stranger to Indonesians, even non-fashion enthusiasts. She started her career in 1989 in a rented house with two sewing machines. Today, she focuses on kebaya and owns a number of well-known malls in Indonesia.

Through her work, she continues to preserve Indonesian culture in the designs of kebaya and batik that have been worn by many important and famous people, including several Miss Universe winners. In addition, she also owns restaurants called Warung D'Kambodja Anne Avantie and Dapur Ndeso by Anne Avantie.

Bunda Anne is also known for her fondness for the people in need through many social activities, such as establishing the Tiban Market to help small and medium businesses and producing personal protective equipment for the health workers when the supply was scarce during the peak of the pandemic.

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