When you’ve got a face like Christie Brinkley’s, people always want to doll it up. “I’d been approached many times about becoming a doll,” the supermodel recalls, but she had always turned down the offer. Then along came daughter Alexa Ray. “As the mother of a 4-year-old, I see how little girls play and how they relate to models,” Brinkley says. “The glamour and excitement appeal to little kids.”
So last year Brinkley approached Matchbox Toys and, with friends and fellow fabulous faces Beverly Johnson and Cheryl Tiegs, began developing the Real Model Collection. Scheduled to be unveiled at next week’s annual toy fair in New York City, the collection includes Barbie-size dolls patterned after the three models ($13.99 each), additional outfits, a mini-photo studio and a 35-inch limousine complete with a whirlpool bath. Twenty percent of the models’ royalties will be donated to a still-to-be-announced children’s charity. “I started to think it would be really great if the models organized themselves and earned some money to do what they wanted,” says Brinkley.
To capture the models’ fine features in vinyl, Matchbox hired Joyce Christopher, who crafted the original Barbie doll. The results? “Amazing,” says Tiegs. “The eyes, the nose, the cheekbones, even the way they put on the makeup.” But when it came to selecting the clothes—well, Brinkley for one decided that daughter knew best. “I let her pick out my wardrobe because I thought she’d be closer to picking out what kids would like,” says Brinkley. “There are fabrics that appeal to 30-year-olds and fabrics that appeal to kids. She really goes for glitz and shine.”
As for their own glitz and shine, the three balk at the notion that their dolls promote nothing more than vanity and superficial values. “I think we’re pretty good role models,” says Brinkley. “We’re all working, and we’ve accomplished a lot.”