Stevie Nicks is taking this call from her flip phone. The septuagenarian rock icon does have an iPhone, but she mostly uses it to take photos. And lately, the photos have been of her new Barbie—as in, the just-launched Barbie that Mattel has fashioned in her likeness.
“I’m photographing her everywhere we go. I was photographing her this morning sitting on a pillow looking out at Pittsburgh,” she tells ELLE.com, calling from her latest tour stop before heading to New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday (where she ultimately unveiled her Barbie).
Nicks has forged a legendary career for herself as both a member of Fleetwood Mac and a solo artist; she has won Grammys, been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, sold millions of records worldwide, and inspired generations of musical artists after her. Having her own Barbie was something she “never thought” would happen. But now that Stevie Barbie (that’s what she calls her) is here, she can’t get enough of her.
“I just continued my relationship with this little person. I don’t even look at her as a doll anymore. She’s like a real person. She came alive for me.” Nicks admits she props the doll up for photos as she travels from city to city on her tour, wraps her hair when she goes to bed, and talks to her to cheer herself up. “I just go, ‘Hello, Stevie Barbie, how are you doing today?’ She says to me, ‘I’m doing good. How are you doing?’ And that’s it. I feel a hundred percent better.”
In Nicks’ signature style, the doll carries a tambourine and wears a breezy black top with cape sleeves and a matching skirt, recreating the look she wears on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album cover. She actually lent the original ensemble—a French silk chiffon look by Margi Kent and 1977 handmade Italian boots by Di Fabrizio—to Mattel for reference. “I sent them the boots, which I would never ever let out of my sight before, and the outfit. I said, ‘This is it. This is the whole package.’”
Looking back at how that now-iconic look materialized, Nicks says, “I went on the road for the first time with Fleetwood Mac in 1976 with just street clothes that I had bought when we joined Fleetwood Mac six months before. I’d actually had a little money to go out and buy some fun clothes. I got out there, and there was food out there, which there hadn’t been before, because we were very poor. All of a sudden I gained like 10, 15 pounds, and I didn’t fit in any of that stuff. When I came home, I had a friend who knew a designer and said, ‘Listen, you need to see Margi, because you need to have, like I said, a uniform.’”
So, Nicks sketched up a handkerchief skirt and wraparound blouse with long chiffon sleeves and collaborated with Kent on a design. “That is what I started wearing on stage, starting at the beginning of 1977, and continued to wear in all different skirt lengths,” she says. She’s been wearing it ever since.
“When I told Margi Kent, my designer, to make this outfit, I said to her, ‘I want a uniform, and by the way, I’m going to probably still be wearing this when I’m 60.’ Maybe it’ll be a little bigger, but basically this is what I’m going to wear for the next 50 years. She laughed, so funny, ha-ha. I said, ‘It’s not funny. It’s true.’”
Nicks’ Barbie partnership might come as a surprise, but it’s just another testament to her lasting influence. Forty-two years after her debut solo album Bella Donna (46 after Rumors and 50 after Buckingham Nicks), she continues to inspire not only pop culture as a whole, but notably, the youth. She has performed with Harry Styles and Taylor Swift; Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” went viral on TikTok; some women have likened her 1997 performance of “Silver Springs” (sung directly to ex and bandmate Lindsey Buckingham) to the Roman Empire; and her history with Fleetwood Mac gained new interest with the TV adaptation of Daisy Jones and the Six (which she has watched at least twice). Nicks shows no sign of slowing down, either. In the midst of her North American tour with Billy Joel, she just announced more show dates through next year.
“When I look at her [the Stevie Barbie] now, I not only see my younger self … But I also see me at the age that I am now, which we’re not even going to mention that,” she says. “I see myself now in her a lot. That also really makes me happy and proud, and it makes me look at her and go, ‘This is what we did Barbie. We created a look. We created a persona, we created a character, we created a songwriter. We created what you wanted most.’”
In a way, Stevie the doll shows just how far Stevie the person has come. “It’s like we did everything that I wanted to do when I was 27.”
Nicks was a kid when she got her first and only Barbie doll in 1958, she recalls, but she didn’t find the toy relatable at the time. “She was the tall Barbie…and she was in her high heels and her beautiful striped bathing suit with her blonde hair on top of her head. I think I was only 11. It was like, huh, my mom’s five-foot tall, so even at 11, I’m going, ‘I don’t think I’m ever going to be as beautiful and as tall as Barbie.’ I didn’t quite understand it. I was just too young, honestly. I’m from a whole ’nother generation.” Her mother packed away that Barbie, but Nicks hopes to search for it one day when she gets back to Phoenix, where she and her parents lived. “I’m really looking forward to finding her, because I know that I’m just going to go like, ‘Oh my God, you just didn’t understand this beautiful Barbie, because you were just too little.’”
Like many of us, Nicks watched the Barbie movie and loved it. She even has the Margot Robbie Barbie doll, which was released to promote the film. “I just love Margot Robbie. I’ve also taken thousands of pictures of my Margot Robbie Barbie, who is also my Barbie’s best friend now, because they sit next to each other all the time and talk in the silence of the night.”
She calls out some of her favorite scenes, like when Robbie’s Stereotypical Barbie realizes her feet are flat or when she drives to the real world and realizes Ken is in her car. But she especially loves the scene where Weird Barbie makes Stereotypical Barbie choose between a pink heeled pump or a Birkenstock to learn the secrets of the universe.
As for which shoe she would choose, Nicks firmly responds: “Oh, Stevie is not a Birkenstock [person]. Stevie would find a pair of sandals that worked and were really good, but that were really cute and had a little ankle strap and could be a little bit fashionable. Had I been Margot Robbie Barbie, I would’ve had a lot of trouble making that choice too.”
The Stevie Nicks Music Series Barbie is available at Mattel Shop for $55 starting now.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.
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