American Girl Debuts Claudie with roots in NYC, celebrating the Harlem Renaissance
American Girl introduced its newest historical doll, Claudie Wells, a 1920s historical character with roots in New York City, celebrating the Harlem Renaissance. NYC kids of all ages will love that Claudie represents an entirely new opportunity to showcase NYC history as AG continues its legacy of building girls of strong character through the power of storytelling. Claudie’s story was written and created in collaboration with New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half and The Mothers, Brit Bennett (her first ever children’s book!).
According to Bennett, “Before I ever sat in front of a computer to type, I had already started telling stories each time I played with my dolls. My sister and I were in love with our American Girl dolls and books, especially Addy. While the doll itself was beautiful, what enchanted me was Addy’s courageous story written by the trailblazing author Connie Porter, so creating a new historical character for American Girl has been a dream come true. As a girl, I always loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, an outpouring of Black artistry that emerged alongside larger struggles for equal rights. I hope readers will enjoy exploring this fascinating era through Claudie’s eyes.”
During the Harlem Renaissance, Claudie is surrounded by talented artists, musicians, and writers, and sets out to find out what her talents are. Despite the challenges of the time, Harlem was a place of hope, new beginnings and black artistic joy. Bringing Claudie and her story to life is a beautiful, 18” doll that was crafted with a brand new doll sculpt, has curly brown hair with a hair bow, and is dressed in a woven plaid dress, thick sweater, and knee high socks with black Mary Janes.
Along with this signature outfit, American Girls’ partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row, the premier design agency that creates a bridge between brands and designers of color in fashion, continues to grow with three special-edition outfits designed by HFR designer, Sammy B that are a modern take on 1920’s fashion.
To celebrate Claudie’s debut, fans can participate in the following free events and activities:
- Hear from author Brit Bennett in a video chat and read about Why Claudie Matters, with a detailed look at the important themes covered in the story.
- Visit American Girl retail stores to explore Claudie’s product world, enjoy special Claudie-themed menu items at the signature cafes, attend book signings, win prizes, and more.
- Sing along to Claudie’s music video on American Girl’s YouTube and YouTube Kids Channel.
- Check out American Girl’s TikTok channel and Instagram for fun, Claudie-inspired social content, like a virtual tour of her boardinghouse bedroom, a cooking demo of her favorite recipe, and other activities.
- Enjoy free Claudie activities and read an excerpt of her book on American Girl’s play site.
In addition, American Girl is supporting the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), the renowned cultural center, to help encourage today’s youth to become creative thinkers by donating a combined $100,000 in cash and Claudie dolls and books, with funding directed toward HSA Prep, a pre-professional scholarship program providing students ages 12-18 with advanced level arts training in music, dance, theater, and visual arts.