We always knew about Valerie Sanders and her assistant, Miss Lillian Oxford. But then the trail on who was Sindy’s fashion designer would go cold. Something clearly happened in the very early 1970s, and the product management seemed to go awry with what appeared for sale compared to what was shown in the trade catalogues and style leaflets. 1974 is a very interesting year because a number of Sindy’s outfits were not designed or made by Pedigree. This year saw a reliance on repurposed Maddie Mod outfits made by the Mego Corporation. These would have been chosen in 1973, so what was happening with the Sindy design team?
Talking to chaps from Pedigree’s R&D Department who created the 1981 Magic Cooker and Sindy’s Country Garden 1982, I would ask who designed Sindy’s clothes? Oh you need to talk to Barbara they would say. But who was this Barbara and how do we find her? I was acutely conscious that we were missing some information and continuity on Sindy’s designers when working on the Museum rewrite, especially when redoing that 1974 Sindy page with all those Mego outfits. So how do Kathy and I find Barbara?
Luckily Barbara found us! Talking to her has been absolutely wonderful and she has put considerable effort in helping us with a new article for the museum. Her contribution answers a lot of questions. Why were there photos of Sindy dolls wearing outfits we had never seen? Because they were samples! Why do the later style leaflets and trade catalogues more closely resemble what was sold in the shops? Because Pedigree introduced a new product pipeline from Barbara’s designs to manufacturing in Hong Kong. A great aha moment was discovering where “the doll you love to dress” came from. A new very important question arises, where is the Princess Diana bride Sindy with all the diamonds? As you can imagine, I have spent many hours looking for a photo of her.
Thank you Barbara, for all the outfits you designed that gave children so much joy, and quite a few adults still. Thank you also for helping the museum by writing everything down, answering our numerous questions, and correcting our text. We are delighted to add your knowledge to Sindy’s collective knowledge.