She’s blonde, loves pink and has an impressive collection of fashion items: and no, I’m not talking about Barbie! I’m talking about Lisa Davis, co-founder of DAVIS, an architecture, interiors and urban design firm. With that said, there happens to be a strong connection between Davis and the plastic, pink-clad, pop-culture phenomenon. Davis, who currently houses 280 Barbie and Friends dolls, accessories and additional Barbie-specific merchandise, has long been a fan of the iconic Barbie world (before it was cool!).

LEARN MORE: Expert tips to plan your Barbiecore wedding

In July of 2023, the blockbuster “Barbie” had the best movie debut of the year, earning $162 million and remaining No. 1 in theaters for four consecutive weekends. If you didn’t know about Barbie before, you were guaranteed to by the end of summer. For Davis, her knowledge and appreciation of the Barbie doll began in childhood. 

“It was the whole neighborhood thing to do,” she says. “Everybody brought their Barbies and we went to somebody’s crawl space or bedroom and made houses and just played Barbie for hours.”

Davis didn’t formally begin collecting Barbie memorabilia until around 15 years ago. 

“I started in my office and I had a shelf and a case,” she explains. “Then it overtook my office and I had to move it to a bedroom in our old home downstairs. And then it just overtook that room too.”

Now, Davis has an entire room dedicated to Barbie and Friends. These collectibles are all thoughtfully and impeccably outfitted and staged, according to “era.” Of note, Davis’s collection focuses on Barbie models ranging from the late 1950s, when Barbie debuted, to the 1970s. 

“Each year is curated in how I have it displayed,” Davis says. “And the vintage furniture, the whole mid-century modern era is so prevalent in what I collect for Barbie. That’s a love too.”

Davis identifies that how her Barbie vignettes are showcased often parallels aspects of her career. “The whole idea that they all kind of go together, the fashion and the architecture and the furniture, I mean, it’s pretty great,” she says. 

But there are even more similarities Davis connects to interior design and architecture to her Barbie collection. “The appreciation for detail and design and quality,” Davis says. “Barbie has all that.”

Beyond the tangible ways Barbie has influenced — and intertwined with — Davis’s life, there are also more philosophical aspects of Barbie and her origins that she appreciates. 

“The thing that I love about Barbie and what Ruth Handler created was that there’s just so many levels to her. She’s so complex. There’s the whole fashion and clothing and the whole idea of Barbie living in a make-believe world where you can be anything you want,” Davis says. “And I think that there’s a spirit there that can be a guiding light.”

As for the future of her collection, Davis has no intention of stopping any time soon! 

“I have shelves to fill,” she says. “I have cases of clothes that need to be displayed. I’m going to keep going for sure.”