In response to a letter addressed to toy maker Mattel regarding the production of its Frida Kahlo Barbie, the company says they do have permission to produce the doll despite a contrary claim published by a great niece.
Mattel says that it has the corresponding permit for the production of its Frida Kahlo Barbie, which launched this week.
After the announcement of its release, a legal dispute over the rights of the artist’s image among her family and the Panamanian company Frida Kahlo Corporation became public.
The Frida Kahlo Corporation, which was created in conjunction with the family in 2005 to preserve the legacy of the artist, was the one who granted the permission to Mattel. Pablo Sangri, lawyer of the Kahlo family explained that since 2010, the family of the painter broke relationship with the corporation.
In a statement, Frida Kahlo Corporation said that currently “the licensing, authorization, development, marketing and protection of products or services related to Frida Kahlo are matters of said company.”
They also said that “Mara Cristina Teresa Romeo Pinedo, niece of the painter’s granddaughter, is a shareholder and forms part of the Board of Directors”, a comment that Sangri denied.
The lawyer explained that when Frida Kahlo Corporation was created a contract was signed in partnership with the company Casablanca Distribution, (licensing experts), the artist’s family and Frida Kahlo Corporation, in which it was established that “in case there is losses greater than the social capital and that there are no profits in the first five years, the company rescinded the contract and the brands will return to their owners.”
In 2010, Mara Cristina Teresa Romeo, Isolda P. Kahlo and Mara de Anda, relatives of Kahlo, rescinded the contract “for not complying with what was originally established, because the expectations of earnings were not met,” Sangri said.
It was then that Casablanca Distribution took control of the company and “made the brand what they wanted, since then the corporation should have ceased to exist,” he explained.