• Becoming Barbie

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    By Euden Valdez Staff Writer

    Barbie has been every young girl’s favorite doll for many generations. She has transcended cultures and nationalities with her beauty, strength of character and grace—the universal aspirations of young hearts and minds.

    Good news, therefore, comes to the little ladies of Manila who love every bit about Barbie and dream of being just like her with the opening of the world-famous doll’s flagship store in the Philippines at the newly opened East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City.

    Through the efforts of Richwell Philippines, the dolls longtime exclusive distributor here, the Barbie Store Philippines is a one-of-a-kind experiential store, with very few counterparts Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia.

    “The new flagship Barbie Store Philippines is an entirely unique offering,” elaborated Maye Yao-Co Say at the lifestyle destination’s press launch on May 14. Yao-Co Say is chief operating officer of Richwell Philippines. “Instead of just playing with Barbie or admiring her things, little girls get to become Barbie—and see what it’s like to be in her world with the store’s offerings.”

    To start off with, the ultra-pink space at Shangri-La Plaza houses a beauty salon and photo studio.

    The Beauty Salon has a team of beauty experts who can give young girls a Barbie makeover from head to toe. Even better, Yao-Co Say that even mom-mies can have their nails done along with their daughters for a truly enjoyable bonding activity.

    Meanwhile, the Photo Studio is where young girls get to wear Barbie costumes and head straight for a fashion pictorial with the in-store photographer. Currently, there are themes to choose from for the shoot: Barbie Princess, Barbie Fairy, or Barbie Rockstar. At the end of the photo session, the “Barbies for the Day” can opt to bring home 20-page photo book to remember what it feels like to be their favorite doll.

    Yao-Co Say revealed that it was her seven-year-old daughter who inspired her to bring the concept store to the Philippines.

    “My daughter, Meagan, loves fashion and her inspiration is Barbie. When we were on a trip to Malaysia, we visited their Barbie concept store, and I saw how her eyes lit up when she tried the beauty salon and photo studio. Right then, I knew I had to bring that same kind of experience to Filipina girls,” she shared.

    The young mother added that Meagan’s personal favorite at the Barbie Store Philippines is the colorful and playful dressing rooms.

    “She especially loves the three special dressing rooms because she can’t get enough of fitting Barbie’s clothes.”

    Meanwhile, Alberto Yao, founder of Richwell Philippines, joined his daughter in pointing out the value of the concept store in this era of electronic toys and gadgets.

    “We also have a pay-for-play area, which will show little girls how much fun it is to play with dolls, and to play with friends,” he concluded.

    Barbie Store Philippines is Richwell Philippines’ ninth Barbie store, with branches at SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma, SM Mega Mall, Glorietta 1, Lucky China Town Mall, Alimall, Market Market, and Harbor Point Mall. Follow the Barbie Store’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/barbiestoreph.

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