8 Things You Never Knew About Barbie's Wardrobe, According to the People Who Dress Her (Exclusive)

Rachel Ritter and Zlatan Kusnoor — two of the creatives behind the Barbie Style Instagram account — share new details with PEOPLE in honor of the doll's 65th birthday

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> Barbie at the

Mattel Inc.

Barbie at the 'Barbie' premiere with a look inside her closet

Barbie might have one of the most epic closets. Like, ever.

After 65 years of life — and hundreds of different dolls and thousands of outfits created — it only makes sense that Barbie's wardrobe would be absolutely massive. The iconic doll's style comes to life on the Barbie Style Instagram, which has more than 2.8 million followers and paints Barbie as a true influencer. Here she shows off her beautiful life, including her travels, her hobbies, her dog Honey, her Dreamhouse and more.

But Barbie can't do it all by herself. It takes a village to make Barbie Style come to life, and it's helmed by Rachel Ritter, Barbie's stylist (who quite literally dresses Barbies every day for a living) and Zlatan Kusnoor, creative director (who also quite literally plays with Barbies every day for a living).

PEOPLE spoke with both of them to get all the details on what goes into dressing Barbie for Instagram, how the shot comes together and all the other details you might not have known about your favorite doll.

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> The Barbies who went to the Grammys in 2024

Mattel Inc.

The Barbies who went to the Grammys in 2024

Barbie Loves to Pair Modern with Vintage

Just like many of us, Barbie loves to mix and match her pieces (and so does Ritter). Ever the music fan, Barbie went to both the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala and the Grammy Awards in two gorgeous looks and it was a mix of both old and new pieces.

"The doll on the left (above) went to Clive Davis' gala, and that's a really fun look because it's a really good example of what I love to do in the Barbie closet," Ritter explains. "I pair vintage with new Barbie pieces. That's an original mod-era Francie look. It was stockings with a matching dress. It was originally a long-sleeve dress with a mock turtleneck. I wanted to change it up, though, so I made it into a strapless look and added the faux fur shawl, which is a Barbie product. It's a fun example of how an outfit gets put together from different sources."

For the red carpet at the awards show itself, Barbie went for the more glam approach, rocking a black and pink deconstructed gown with a sweetheart neckline that was created just for her. Like so many celebrities on the red carpet, she too had a couture gown crafted specifically for her big moment.

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<p>Mattel Inc.</p> Rachel Ritter, Barbie stylist, and Zlatan Kusnoor, creative director of Barbie Style

Mattel Inc.

Rachel Ritter, Barbie stylist, and Zlatan Kusnoor, creative director of Barbie Style

Barbie Is a Woman of the People

Barbie: She's just like us! Part of her evolution as a doll over the years included adding more hair textures and skin tones, giving her different body types and making her a more inclusive doll. That also translates to her social media activity.

So when COVID-19 happened and the world was hunkered down at home, Barbie was doing the same thing as the rest of us. She was also wearing pillows as dresses, social distancing and rocking the stay-at-home vibe.

"Barbie was at home a lot," Kusnoor says. "We shot a lot of that in my kitchen actually and no one would know."

Barbie Loves Creating Content in Her Dreamhouse — and with Friends

Not only does Barbie have a Dreamhouse on set, but she loves to stage all kinds of scenes there. Kusnoor has a team he works with to shoot these, and they also use this set for stop-motion videos, too (which can take days to create!).

The beauty of the Dreamhouse is that it means Barbie can even partner with interior design brands on shoots, which she recently did. Barbie teamed up with Jungalow for a shoot, which Ritter and Kusnoor love because of the maximalism and beautiful patterns.

Kusnoor worked with the team on the house design, while Ritter worked with the team on what the doll would wear, and both tell PEOPLE that it was a fast-moving process that was so much fun.

"We were redoing an entire space in Barbie's house," Kusnoor explains. "We're going from minimalist to maximalist. It was heaven. I could have stayed on that set for a week to shoot all kinds of different content."

Related: Mattel Celebrates Barbie's 65th Anniversary with 'Incredibly Glamorous' Doll That Nods to the Original (Exclusive)

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> Inside Barbie's closet

Mattel Inc.

Inside Barbie's closet

The Team Shoots for a Week Each Month

Barbie may look very busy on Instagram, but like any influencer, she's packing all of her photography into a small span of time. Ritter explains how the process works, and it all starts with building out her inspiration. She looks at what she might want Barbie to be doing in the coming weeks and creates a shot list. It depends on what evergreen needs they might have, any events they have upcoming, if Barbie has to go on location, etc.

"We shoot about a week out of every month," she says. "So we shoot for about four or five days and that gives us usually about a month's worth of content that comes out at different times. I'll do about a week of prep in [the closet]. I'll have my shot list and I'll just go to town and I'll come up with a collection of looks."

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> A look at Barbie's options for an upcoming event

Mattel Inc.

A look at Barbie's options for an upcoming event

Some Looks Are One of a Kind

Ritter loves to take a Barbie outfit and turn it into something else to create a one-of-a-kind piece for a memorable Instagram photo. She has a sewing machine in her studio that she can use as needed, but that's not the only method of altering she has.

"Sometimes I'll alter a piece if it needs to be a little bit different for that particular shot. Sometimes I hand-dye a little piece of fabric to change the color," she tells PEOPLE.

When it comes to the vintage pieces, though, Ritter tries not to mess with them, though once in a while she will alter them as she sees fit.

"I'm not cutting them up or changing them up, but sometimes I'll make a small alteration. But don't tell some of the collectors," she jokes.

Related: Helen Mirren, Kylie Minogue and More Role Models Get Barbies for International Women's Day (Exclusive)

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> Barbie's clothes are sorted by type

Mattel Inc.

Barbie's clothes are sorted by type

The Styling Team Sources Pieces from Collectors

Ritter and Kusnoor will often go to doll conventions to source vintage Barbie clothing and accessories to add to the Barbie closet. Ritter says she's always inspired by current events, the latest fashions and everything around her, which means she's constantly looking for new pieces to add to Barbie's wardrobe, and sometimes that means looking back into what the doll wore decades ago.

However, she and Kusnoor have differing styles of shopping when it comes to Barbie!

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> Barbie's jewelry

Mattel Inc.

Barbie's jewelry

"I'm at each booth looking through the whole bin," Ritter says with a laugh, while Kusnoor admits he shops much faster. They both relish in digging through all the vintage Barbie pieces and meeting with collectors, though — more and more of whom are realizing who they are.

"I've been around for a while," Kusnoor admits of his tenure at Mattel. "The thing with Barbie fans and collectors is that they're really, really amazing. When they know you work for Barbie, they want to know everything about you. So at this point, I've gone to quite a few Barbie collector conventions so they know who you are and they're very, very sweet. They always come up to you. It's really, it's fun."

Related: Margot Robbie Had a 10-Hour Barbie Dress Fitting for Promo Tour, Says Stylist Andrew Mukamal (Exclusive)

<p>Mattel Inc.</p> The Barbie heads in the Barbie closet

Mattel Inc.

The Barbie heads in the Barbie closet

The Barbie Archive Is Available for the Styling Team to Use (and Then Return)

Of course Mattel has a massive Barbie archive. The creative teams do have access to the Barbies and accessories in the archives when they need them for certain things — including if Ritter needs a piece for a shoot.

"Our archive team has collected everything over the years, so occasionally we can borrow pieces. Obviously, I can't alter those — they go back to the archive team — but sometimes we'll borrow things for certain shoots," Ritter tells PEOPLE.

Barbie Travels to Each Location for Her Photo Shoots

When you see Barbie in places like Paris or Montreal, Canada, or on the red carpet at the Oscars, she's really there. The creative team doesn't photograph her or her friends in front of a green screen. They pack her and all her clothes up into a suitcase and take her on location.

"Travel for Barbie on Barbiestyle has always been a part of the channel," says Kusnoor, who often travels for the shoots. "It's been part of the channel's DNA from day one. It's always been about being fun places, very aspirational, cool, and we've really kept that."

Kusnoor adds that when you see Barbie at Fashion Week or crossing the street in Milan, she's truly there. A small team takes everything to the location and stages these shots, whether they're in restaurants or in stadiums or in ornate buildings that they've been given access to.

For something like an awards show red carpet, the photographer will shoot the doll and the background and with the magic of photo editing and forced perspective, she'll look life-size in the scene.

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