The Brazilian artist creates custom Barbies in all different shapes, sizes and races with hyper-realistic hair, from afro-style curls to rainbow shades.
Born in San Poalo in 1991, Rafinha Silva founded The Royal Dolls in 2013. Frida Kahlo, Lindsay Lohan, Cher, Amy Winehouse, Princess Ariel and Miranda Priestly (the iconic character played by Meryl Streep in “The Devil wears Prada”): these are just some of the over 500 personalized and hyper-realistic dolls created by the Brasilian artist.
His instagram account @welovetheroyaldolls is followed by over 570.000 followers, who go crazy for his Barbies. Each doll is unique and exclusive: Rafinha Silva selects pieces from different editions, using the head of a Barbie and the body of another. And then green light for the most meticulous personalization, from make up to wigs (long hair has always been his obsession, since he was a child), until the creation of freckles. Each wig, often made with real hair, takes a long time to be personalized (It can take up to a week of work). The most requested? Extra long hair and afro-style curls.
“My first inspiration was to create a doll with the characteristics of singer Amy Winehouse. I was a journalism student about to graduate when I came across art. In my senior year of college, in the midst of all course completion work I was simultaneously starting the business that would change my life,” explained Rafinha Silva, founder and creator of The Royal Dolls’s brand.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RAFINHA SILVA
Which doll was the one which took most time to create?
“Those that have human hair, the coloring always requires longer. The result is incredible, but the workload is doubled.”
How did you learn such skills in coloring and styling hair?
“Thank you! I cannot explain to you objectively, my work is sensory. Everything happens in a very natural way, and when it’s ready, I take the pictures and and post them on Instagram.“
Which are the most popular transformations?
“To make a doll which resembles the client for whom it’s being created.“
And the most requested wigs?
“Super long and wavy hair are the most sought after. In second place are the textured Afro-style curls. My favorite!“
And your favorite customizations?
“I have no favorites. I allow myself to like each one in a different way. They are unique and special, I fall in love with them on a daily basis.“
Where can they be purchased?
“The dolls can be ordered on all official The Royal Dolls platforms: see Facebook and Instagram. The client has all the creative freedom, and I like to follow each commission as accurately as possible. It is a unique experience and has to be experienced in a very special way. The delivery time is 16 working days.“
SEE GALLERY BELOW FOR SOME OF RAFINHA’S MOST ADORED PIECES AS SEEN ON INSTAGRAM!