Michael Bamba is a certified heartthrob. He can light up a room with his smile and will make you fall in love with his charismatic mestizo look. That, or the fact that he is a very down to earth person. Or both. But other than the obvious good looks, Michael is also a jack of all trades.With a vast work experience under his belt (He worked as a fast food crew, a messenger and a collector, a stock man, sales clerk, supermarket supervisor,etc.), It is no wonder why this man is very deep. But his true calling? To design and create classic pieces for Barbie. His love for Barbie, unparalleled and undisputed. His passion for his craft, awesomely ground-breaking. His one of a kind creations are so wonderfully made that he can give Robert Best a run for his money. Get to know more about Michael Bamba as we look into his creative process ,his dedication to his craft, and his contribution in the local doll community.
BCM: How and when did you start designing for barbie or dolls in general?
MICHAEL: I started designing when I was young way back in 1985. I learned how to hand sew Barbie clothes using old fabrics and clothes that I find in our home. But there was a time when I stopped and I got back on track right after college when I started to acquire a lot of dolls and I started making outfits for them.
BCM: Do you have a specific design aesthetic or trademark?
MICHAEL: My trademark is inspired from the 40;s, 50’s, & 60’s era. I love the sophisticated glamour of those decades.
BCM: How do you start creating a design? Can you tell us more about the creative process?
MICHAEL: In creating my Barbie designs, well, I just think and create on the spot. Everything is impromptu based on the fashion of look that I wanted to create.
BCM: What makes you inspired and motivated?
MICHAEL: I get huge inspiration from the old Hollywood era and I incorporate my own twist and flavor into it.
BCM: Do you have an estimate of how many barbie clothes have you designed and created?
MICHAEL: I think it’s more than a hundred already. That includes the clothes that I made for my own dolls and some commissioned works as well.
BCM: Can you give us an idea of your client profile?
MICHAEL: Most of my clients are collectors who are into vintage looks which exudes sophistication and glam.
BCM: Do you design for other doll/brands as well?
MICHAEL: Well as of now I design and make fashions for Barbie and Fashion Royalty Dolls.
CM: Do you collect dolls too?
MICHAEL: Yes I collect Barbie dolls & some Fashion Royalty dolls too and I love dressing them up with my own creation.
BCM: What is your favorite Barbie doll?
MICHAEL: I have 3 favorite dolls–
Zebra print Barbie 1959, Angel face Barbie and Golden Dream Barbie.
BCM: Do you aspire to design and make clothes for real women too?
MICHAEL: If given the opportunity to design for real women, that is a very challenging task because it’s a lot different on how you apply the design and ideas in a more appealing way to women who will wear my designs.
BCM: What makes it so special designing and creating clothes for Barbie?
MICHAEL: Designing for Barbie is very special because of the never ending possibilities of expressing my artistry.
BCM: Are you planning to make this hobby into a full blown business?
MICHAEL: For now I’m enjoying the world of creating fashions for dolls and if given a chance to make this talent and skill as a business, I will take the opportunity.
Follow Michael on Instagram: @mikescreation