Meet the artist who turns inflatable dolls into fashion creations

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Nicole Daddona, who comes on Friday, is 32, lives in Los Angeles and is, as she puts it, “an artist, comedian, fashion designer, filmmaker and toy designer” who has created a popular line of inflatable dolls. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a handbag with a vintage inflatable doll face on it or a coat covered with inflatable doll faces (see below), Friday is for you. Here, Friday, who is also editor-in-chief of FRIDAY Magazine, explains how she got into the inflatable doll fashion and why her designs are so coveted.

Susannah Breslin: How did you come up with the idea of ​​turning inflatable dolls into portable products that you could sell?

Friday: Last year I was living in a retirement community with my dad in Connecticut for a few months. I found a vintage inflatable doll at the thrift store and immediately bought it. I have always been drawn to inflatable dolls. I just think they’re such a fun part of pop culture. I have always made things from other things. I often went to the landfill with my dad when I was a kid and turned the little knick-knacks I found into accessories I could wear. When I was in high school, I made a chair out of recycled plastic bags. I really like upcycling and turning things into other things. After I had Judy – which is the official name for this style of inflatable doll – in the house for a few days, I knew I wanted to keep her with me always and that the best way to do that was to turn her into something. portable. . I cut off his face – which looks terrible, but was oddly cathartic – and assembled a very poorly made prototype of what is now the Blow Me Bag.

Breslin: Where do you get the inflatable dolls from?

Friday: At first I would get them from eBay and thrift stores when I could find them, but after I posted the bag for pre-order for sale and got a bigger and more positive response than I expected, I knew the offer of eBay inflatable dolls would dry out quickly. I found a manufacturer that makes inflatable dolls, and now I source them directly from them.

Breslin: How do you make the inflatable doll products?

Friday: At first I made them myself, but each bag took hours to make and I hurt myself a lot with my sewing machine, so I knew I had to find help with making them. After a lot of research I was able to find an amazing manufacturer to help with the production.

Breslin: Are the items made entirely from inflatable doll materials or do you add other materials?

Friday: The original prototype was, but after wearing it a few times I realized that the vinyl material of the inflatable doll body was not going to be strong enough to wear for long. I like a bag that is sturdy and can fit a lot or a bit while also being great for casual or chic events. The Blow Me Bag is all of this and more. When it came time to make the bag on a larger scale, I did a lot of research. It was important to me that the bag, like everything I sell, be made of all vegan materials. I found a great vegan leather in the same color as the hair of the original inflatable doll, and this is what I use for the bag, which is basically meant to be the rest of the doll’s head.

Breslin: The Blow Me bag costs $ 89. How did you settle this price?

Friday: $ 69 seemed too obvious. I wanted to choose a price that would cover my expenses, labor, and time. I run Magic Society on my own. I take care of all the marketing, customer service, shipping, web design, photography, product design, etc. The price is low in the world of designer handbags, which was important to me as the Blow Me Bag is definitely a designer piece, but I wanted the price to be something I would be willing to pay for a bag. of creator. I also see it as a collectible work of art and myself as an artist so hopefully the value will increase over time. My dream is that one day he will be in a museum between Pedro Friedeberg’s armchair and Warhol’s paper dress.

Breslin: Is the Blow Me Bag your bestseller? How many have you sold?

Friday: It sells really well. So far I have posted two pre-orders of 100 pieces each. I’m about to sell the second pre-order.

Breslin: Why did you choose this model of inflatable doll?

Friday: It’s Judy! Of all the inflatable dolls in the world, she is the most iconic. She has a classic design that has been around for decades, so she has a warm nostalgic feeling about it. I love that she plays classy with her mouth closed, but we all know what’s really on her mind.

Breslin: Is working with inflatable doll material easy or difficult?

Friday: It’s a 1000% challenge! The mask part of the doll is made of soft plastic, very thick and difficult to sew, but makes a strong bag. The vinyl the body is made of is hard to beat in the Los Angeles heat, but it’s worth it when I catch a glimpse of Judy’s mesmerizing gaze.

Breslin: Your blast line is fun, but it’s also a bit disturbing. In the product description, you even refer to the Blow Me Bag as a potential “relationship terminator”. Do you think your blow molding products are beautiful? Terrible? Art?

Friday: I really think about all of the above. The Blowup line is pop art personified. It’s both high fashion and lowbrow. The Magic Society slogan is “Lowbrow High Fashion”. I don’t think anything sums it up better than the Blow Me Bag. The good thing is that the explosion line is a great conversation starter. She also makes tense people uncomfortable, which is always fun. I love scaring Karens.

To quote Delia Deetz, “It’s my art and it’s dangerous,” sort of sums up most of my work. From the films I make with my director partner Adam Shenkman to the clothes I design, I like to do things that inhabit the subconscious, touch on surrealism and above all amuse me. I know that in a world as big as the one we live in, there are like-minded people who will understand and get something positive from my designs.

Breslin: Have you ever had an interest in wearing the Blow Me bag from, say, Nordstrom?

Friday: Not yet, but hit me, Nordstrom! I’m ready to take this line to Fashion Week and confuse the masses. London. New York. Paris. Milanese. Retailers, write to me! Magic Society will enchant you!



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