LeBron, Shakira … and Dora? Celebs Design Dora the Explorer Backpacks for Charity

08/10/2010 at 10:00 AM ET
Larry Busacca/Getty

Dora the Explorer is turning 10!

And in honor of her big day, Nickelodeon is unveiling 12 celebrity-designed backpacks in the windows of Macy’s Herald Square in New York City today.

Celebrities including LeBron James, Shakira, Jessica Alba, Heidi Klum, Salma Hayek Pinault and Matthew McConaughey were tapped to create one-of-a-kind backpacks that will be sold to support the network’s Beyond the Backpack program, which helps promote kindergarten readiness for preschoolers.

“We’re grateful to everyone who contributed their time and talent in designing these terrific backpacks as a tribute to Dora,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon.

“We are incredibly proud of how much of a beloved role model she has become to so many families around the world.”

Hand-made in the United States, each backpack features Dora-inspired graphics ranging from punk-rock and preppy to goth-chic and glam. They are also personally signed by each celebrity designer.

Guided by his life on the court, James (above) created a simple yet sporty bag with the bumpy texture of a basketball.

Jeff Daly/PictureGroup

Shakira (left) opted for a more girlie style complete with pink, purple and orange flowers and Swarovski crystals.

Scott Gries/Picture Group

John Leguizamo (left) — who voices the Flying Monkeys in this Sunday’s premiere of Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure— paid tribute to Boots with an urban-style messenger bag made of rubber.

Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon
Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon

Talk about glam! Project Runway host — and mom of four! — Klum designed a bejeweled pack (left) covered with butterflies and flowers.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees — who’s expecting his second son in October — went for a Lichtenstein-esque effect (right) complete with clean lines and primary colors.

Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon
Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon

Dora sparkles in a soft metallic leather design (left) by country singer and mom Faith Hill, while the lovable character literally hangs out — check out that super cute charm! — in the lush rainforest in actress Eva Longoria Parker‘s creation (right).

Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon
Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon

Hayek Pinault’s shiny red patent bag (left) features two front pockets — and a playful Dora and Boots print.

Dora earns her Rock ‘n’ Roll cred with shiny zippers, sparkly stars, studs and textured leather in this hand-sprayed version (right) by drummer (and dad!) Slash.

Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon
Jeff Daly/PictureGroup/Nickelodeon

Made of soft brown Ultrasuede®, Alba’s simple, elegant leaf-embossed design (left) opens up to reveal a beautiful gold interior. Singer Sheryl Crow‘s soft black and grey bag (right) features a tiny blue frog and a hidden colorful surprise inside.

Each adorable school bag will be available for auction on CharityBuzz.com — and on display at Macy’s — through Sept. 2. And all proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Defense Fund, which will be funding school readiness programs.

“The Children’s Defense Fund has years of research that points to the importance of developing school-ready skills early so that children can succeed in the classroom,” noted founder and president Marion Wright Edelman. “I’m proud to continue this partnership with Nickelodeon to further the messages of Beyond the Backpack and the CDF.”

The Beyond the Backpack program is designed to call attention to the emotional, physical, experiential and actual competencies that preschoolers need for those first, crucial steps into school. For more information on the program, go to Dora.BeyondtheBackpack.com. It features everything from downloadable pre-school learning activities to a list of pro-education community events.

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Showing 12 comments

jordan on

man these are so cool and awesome. I think I might get one for my nephews.

Bridget on

I think it’s a cute idea – but the backpacks start at $500! No way I can afford that!!

J on

Who can afford a backpack that expensive?

Hea on

J – Call me crazy but I don’t think these were made for the general public?

Erika on

Those are super cute but (correct me if I’m wrong- I don’t have kids yet so I don’t really know) I thought Dora was mostly a girls show. Some of these look very masculine.

I always thought Dora was mostly for girls and Diego for boys. But I am probably wrong, I don’t watch much Nick Jr. lol

Haleiwa on

Very cute backpacks. My husband loves Boots. He says, Boots is Dora’s “hype man”. Tee. Hee.

dee on


I think they only brought Diego around b/c parents were feeling uncomfortable about their sons wanting Dora paraphernalia. But it would make sense that some of these items are masculine, it’s for charity and little boys still like Dora.

Anna on

I like Faith Hills and would love to have Jessica Alba’s bag. But I don’t spend that kind of money for bags.

Tracie on

Not fair! Why does everything always have to be so expensive? Make them available for families who don’t earn big bucks too! My daughter would love one of these. (and mummy kinda likes the Jessica Alba one for herself!!)

Electra on

They probably could have mass produced some of these products sold them at 100bucks and made tons more for charity. They’re really cute. Some them are clearly made from good materials and aren’t your regular backpack. some i really couldnt tell.

jam on

you, guys, are right. dora is every little girl’s, and even boy’s, friend. if the little girls see these fabulous bags they would love to have them. now it’s really terrible that they made them so expensive and at an auction. right, they would make more money if these were mass produced. or maybe after the launch they would? please be nice to our girls.

Samy on

I love the Eva Longoria Parker one! The ladybug would be perfect for my Sadie Bug! Too expensive for me though…. maybe they will be mass produced after the auction? Bug (17 months) is way more into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse than Dora. It’s probably an age thing.