Día De Los Muertos is celebrated from November 1 through November 2 and is a long-standing cultural tradition in many Latin American countries, especially in Mexico. In September, Barbie released two Día De Los Muertos-inspired dolls created by Mexican American Barbie designer Javier Meabe as well as another Barbie doll designed in collaboration with renowned Mexican fashion designer Benitos Santos. This year, the American Girl doll brand, founded in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland, has followed in Mattel’s footsteps and created a Día De Los Muertos-inspired celebration outfit for their 18-inch dolls as part of their Cultural Celebrations line.
The celebration outfit set includes a colorful embroidered dress with a ruffled off-the-shoulder neckline and a satin sash at the waist, a pink, yellow, and blue headband with a marigold, a pair of blue ballet flats, and a white mask with colorful floral artwork meant to mimic calavera face paint. The intricate outfit, which retails online and in-store for $48, also features a small sugar skull with “hand drawn” decals, a faux candle with a base of marigolds, and a booklet with detailed information about Día De Los Muertos traditions. The American Girl brand has offered diverse sets of dolls and accessories that capture the stories, experiences and histories of different groups of people and their cultures.
The American Girl company has released a total of 3 Latin American dolls. Josefina Montoya, who debuted in 1997, was the first Latina American Girl doll; Josefina was rereleased last year in May in honor of American Girl’s 35th anniversary, retailing at around $150, and represented New Mexico before the Mexican-American War in 1824. In 2005, Marisol Luna, the third “Girl of the Year” doll was released; she is a Chicana and originally hails from Pilsen Village in Chicago, IL. The American Girl brand’s most recent Latin American doll is the 2018 “Girl of the Year” doll, Luciana Vega, who is a young Latina of Chilean descent who aspires to be an astronaut.
This adorable celebration outfit is the perfect traditional traje for your American Girl doll; it is available online and in stores, although the set has sold out altogether in some store locations. The beautiful, detailed outfit is a wonderful representation of a beloved, long-standing, and widely-celebrated Latin American holiday, and it’s perfect for your child’s compañerita at the ofrenda. In the future, we look forward to seeing more Latin American representation in the American Girl brand’s dolls, outfits, and accessories to come.