What began in the 19th century as a bookselling company became one of the largest American companies of the 20th century, allowing many women their economic independence.
Everything changed when its founder David H. McConnell realized that the perfume created by him that he gave away with the books he sold was more successful than the books themselves, so he decided to sell perfumes, founding the California Perfume Company in 1886, called that way until in 1939 became Avon that owed its name to the successful perfume and makeup line that at the same time took its name from the birthplace of Shakespeare, a writer much admired by McConnell.
An entourage of salespeople, especially women, sold the products door-to-door or in meetings, composing a multilevel structure, a business model that would reach its peak in the mid-20th century with the "Avon calling" campaign. With this campaign, the company expanded to other countries and included other products such as costume jewelery, which would signify a good percentage of its profits and which made Avon the largest costume jewelery company in the world with a sales volume and a quite important representative retinue and for which renowned designers such as Kenneth Jay Lane collaborated.
Mattel in its collaboration with Avon paid tribute to these representatives and Mrs Albee, for being the first "Avon Lady", the one who would revolutionize the world of marketing with her innovative ideas by recruiting salespeople and establishing a woman-to-woman sales system. Of course, that model could not miss a very Victorian aesthetic corresponding to the time in which she lived and in which the first stones of the company were laid.
This Mattel-Avon binomial that emerged in the 90s at the end of the Barad era, first as a successful pilot test in the USA but always with the aim that Barbie could penetrate difficult markets such as China or Russia, gave exclusive Barbie models for Avon with names as suggestive as Winter Velvet Barbie or Exotic Intrigue Barbie and things shouldn't have gone too bad since we have exclusive Avon Barbie dolls as close to our days as in 2010 with the Model Muse body.
It is not surprising that these models are very collectible today as they unite two giants with their own history that somehow revolutionized American society, women's lives and business models in the 20th century with their products.