Barbie traditional Malaysian wear hit foreigners


Erpha Ahdayani Othman sews dresses for Barbie dolls to introduce the Malaysian culture to the world.

The 44-year-old, who resides in Bintulu, Sarawak, said she started producing costumes for Barbie dolls in 2014, focusing more on 1960s fashion for doll collectors.

The idea to sew traditional Barbie wear came about when she had many clients from abroad who were drawn to traditional costumes.

“Many of my customers are Barbie doll collectors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Some of them stay and work here (in Malaysia). So they wanted souvenirs with Malaysian elements to give to their friends and families back home,” she said, adding that she displayed her designs on her Instagram account and at

Erpha said showcasing the melting pot of Malaysia through fashion proved to be a big hit among foreigners.

“Foreigners love our materials and designs. So, I grabbed the opportunity to highlight Malaysia as a multiracial country by uploading pictures of Barbie dolls wearing traditional costumes on Instagram.

“I normally do research first before sewing the doll costumes to ensure the pattern choices are suitable. I also take into account my clients’ taste and culture.”


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