Exclusive Video: Male Models Play Ken Dolls on Fashion’s Night Out

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Who needs Barbie? Photo: Charlotte Cowles

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a Ken doll in the (very smooth, taut) flesh, they are gentlemen. They smile and wink for the camera, and they take their shirts off frequently, which is indeed very courteous when one has abs like egg cartons. For Fashion’s Night Out, Mattel selected a handful of cooperative male models to dress up as Ken dolls and ride around Manhattan strapped to the sides of a transparent truck (all the better for ogling, obviously). The models dressed up as different “dates”: there was “Tennis Date Ken,” “Gallery Date Ken,” “Movie Date Ken,” “Picnic Date Ken,” “Formal Date Ken,” and last, but definitely not least, “Surf Date Ken,” who was adorably worried about getting chilly in nothing but his board shorts. We got to hang out with them (okay, fine, stare at them) while they suited up for their big night out, a process that involved extensive amounts of hairspray and bronzer. They also received a lengthy briefing on proper Ken-doll conduct (no gum, lots of smiles) as well as the history of Ken’s relationship with Barbie (apparently, Ken and Barbie had an amicable breakup on Valentine’s Day of 2004). Her loss, it seems.