The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority really know how to get dolled up -- and focus on business. For their biennial convention, the sorority, which consists of roughly 35,000 members, inducted one of their newest members: Barbie.
Mattel Inc. has created limited-edition Alpha Kappa Alpha Centennial Barbie, the first Barbie based on any sorority. The doll honors the Chicago-headquartered sorority, the first established by black women. Mattel Inc. created the limited-edition AKA Centennial Barbie, the first Barbie based on any sorority.
The doll, outfitted in a pink and green evening gown, matching jeweled shoes and gold jewelry, honors the Chicago-headquartered sorority, the first established by black women. The sorority has inducted about 200,000 members -- including actress Phylicia Rashad, educator Marva Collins and author Toni Morrison -- since it’s founding at Howard University in 1908.
The AKA Barbie has some company. Another business, the Sisterhood Boutique, last year modeled a collectible doll on the sorority. That creation, the $125 Ivy Rose made its way into official gift bags for celebrity presenters at the Grammy Awards in February.
The Mattel doll will sell for $50 through the Barbie Collector catalog, the Barbie Collector.com Web site and retailers. The sorority gets a percentage of the sales.Mattel isn't the only company eager to work with AKA. Among the sorority's other recent corporate deals:
· Converse has designed shoes for Alpha Kappa Alpha and five other black Greek-letter organizations and will sponsor a march at the AKA convention.
· Chase last year gave AKA more than $100,000 to support an African-American home ownership initiative.
· DNA tracing firm African Ancestry Inc. has partnered with the group.