The first Barbie doll debuted on March 9, 1959, at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Ruth Handler, co-founder of toy manufacturer Mattel, developed the doll earlier that year after she noticed her daughter Barbara preferred to play with paper dolls modeled after adult women.
Mattel sold over 300,000 Barbie dolls in the first year that the company manufactured the toy. The first edition had a slim figure and came in brunette and blond variations. Although Barbie has had over 125 careers over the years, the first doll was a fashion model with clothes inspired by real styles and trends from Paris.