Barbara Ferreira bursts out of her Lower East Side apartment building sporting loose-fitting ripped Levi’s, white sneakers, a tie-dye T-shirt, and a white baseball hat with a pug dog embroidered on it.
“Hi, I’m Barbie,” she says as she initiates a hug. The loquacious 18-year-old model, who has just moved into an apartment at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge, has an air of familiarity about her that undoubtedly has been key to her modeling success. She’s not afraid to express herself through her words (on social media, in particular) or her fashion choices. She’s unapologetically Barbie, and it’s a terribly refreshing quality to find in a model on the rise who has already appeared in major a Opening Ceremony x Calvin Klein campaign.
Here, the young stunner talks to StyleCaster about dream gigs, thrift shopping, and more.
Tell me about your look.
I dress like I’m a little boy. This shirt [referring to the tie-dye tee], it’s Miu Miu, obviously. I’m kidding; it’s my friend’s T-shirt. These Levi’s, I got for like $10, and the hat is made by me—my brand is called Barbie Club. I wear a lot of hats.
Who do you count as fashion icons?
Rihanna, obviously. She’s my queen. Chloë Sevigny—she’s like my other queen. I saw her once and almost cried.
Who are some designers you’d like to work with?
Maybe Jeremy Scott. I feel like he’s not too wound up with tradition. He has fun with fashion. At one point I was doing American Apparel stuff; the Calvin Klein thing was pretty dope too. I loved that it was all different shapes, sizes, and races together. There’s still a long way to go. I think people are scared to take risks when it comes to models.
Where do you like to shop in the city?
Whatever shops are around where I live is where I get my clothes. I don’t really buy things or go shopping because my friends and I trade clothes a lot. I don’t remember the last time I went shopping. I didn’t have a lot of money growing up. In New Jersey, there’s a huge warehouse with boxes of vintage stuff for like $5. I got amazing things there, and I still wear those pieces. I would spend the $20 I had for the day and come home with all this crazy stuff.
Where do you like to eat in the city?
I just tried this place called Juicy Lucy; I love their blue cheese fries. And the empanada place right next to my apartment is like a stoner empanada place. It’s open until 4:20, and they have s’more empanadas. It’s crazy!