The amazing BC organizers invited Allison Katzman, the original creator of Blythe dolls, and Junko Wong, the current Blythe Creative Director and CEO of the CWC Group, to speak at the panel. BC ticketholders were welcome to sign up in advance for a spot to attend the panel.
Quick aside: Part of the reason I haven't written about the panel yet is because, honestly, I'm super embarrassed that I ended up being late. Totally my fault - after reading an article on "why late people are perpetually late" in a magazine while I was at the salon recently, I learned a little bit about myself. I might write more about it another time, but basically, I think I am really bad at estimating how long things take. I am consciously working on it these days. Anyway, I was 20 minutes late and hated myself for it the whole time, but I'm going to move past that because that's not the point of this post!
The panel was held in a meeting room at the Seattle Public Library's main branch downtown.
As I mentioned, I arrived late, so I missed the beginning of the panel and my seat was in the back, so it was a little hard to see and hear. I did take some notes on what I did hear, though. If you were there, PLEASE correct me if I am unintentionally sharing any misinformation! Also, if you have anything else you heard that you think would be interesting to share from the panel, please mention it in the comments! :)
Some of the interesting discussions / fun facts I learned from the panel:
+ The name "Blythe" came from Allison's own Blythe. The name idea came up in a meeting and everyone agreed it was a good fit.
+ The Blythe girls' enlarged eyes were not popular in the 1970's (when Blythe was first released). They frightened a lot of little girls (the original target market) and even some of Allison's own friends were spooked.
+ Allison originally came up with her own Blythe outfits to go with the doll she had designed, based on Barbie fashion at the time. However, her designs weren't released as the company ended up going with outfits that seemed more like little girls' clothing.
+ Allison tried out all sorts of different eye chip colors, including red and yellow eyes. Violet eyes were her favorite.
+ When asked about new designs, Junko mentioned Didee Eureka. It looks like she's now available!
+ Junko and her team design modern day Blythe dolls, but the designs belong to Hasbro.
+ Despite their part in the design process, Junie Moon still has to buy Blythe dolls at no discount, just like any other Blythe retailer. Junie Moon is kind of a way to fundraise to continue designing Blythe dolls (so keep buying from them!).
Junko (left) and Allison (right)
And my favorite part of the panel... the story of how Junko and Allison met (which was told by both of them, together).
Junko wanted to find out who had designed the original Blythe dolls. She had her husband, Malcolm, track down the original creator. He discovered it was Allison and got a-hold of her contact info. He called her up, and this, to Allison's memory, was the ensuing conversation:
M: Do you know anything about Blythe?
A: You mean the doll?
A: Well yeah, I made her.
Junko and Allison subsequently met up and went on a date to the Art Institute in Chicago.
After the event, Junko and Allison kindly stayed for autographs. The organizers (seriously, this event was so well-organized) had autograph-ready cards provided to attendees in the packets handed out upon entering the room. Sorry the pics up front are a bit blurry/lighting was iffy - there were a lot of people in line for autographs and I didn't want to get in the way too much! I did manage to sneak into one shot while Junko and Allison were signing autographs... hehe.
My autographed cards!
You can also read a little bit about the panel and BC event from Junko's perspective, on her blog. :)
I decided to smash together the panel, an outfit post, and jewelry shop preview all in one post! For the panel, I wore some of the jewelry from my new collection, which will be available when my shop opens next week! I know it's a little hard to see with blurry Blogger pics, but can you guess the theme? (Hint: it's the same as the shirt's theme.)
You can find more jewelry previews on my Instagram and shop Facebook pages!
Shirt: CallowLily | Shorts & Sunglasses: Guess | Shoes: Tieks | Jewelry: Kelsea Echo (available next week!)
I had a lot of fun at the panel! Thanks for putting it together, Valerie, Diem, Brian, and Sara! And thank you to Junko and Allison for traveling here and sharing your stories with us! :)
P.S. Another shoutout to Tal for taking two hours out of his workday to go to the panel with me and for taking my outfit pics! <3