During Paris Fashion Week in March, we had the opportunity to visit BigStuffed at their studio space in Paris. The studio is situated in a beautifully quiet courtyard in the central part of Paris.
Dana welcomes me and excuses the creative chaos in the studio which I don’t mind - it is charming to see a space in action and the creative development of the creatures. Dana Muskat is the designer and owner of BigStuffed.
When did you produce the first BigStuffed creature and for whom?
Dana - I produced the first creature many years ago for a friend in Israel that just had a baby, and I didn’t have the possibility to visit her so I decided to make her an octopus, as they are apparently the best mum’s in the world. I continued making more of them as my friends fell in love with them too and so it all started.
What is your backround?
Dana – I studied fashion design. But as a fashion designer I got bored, and the fashion market is too crowded with brands, it feels like there is no space for more. With BigStuffed I get to work on a 3-Dimensional level too which gives me a lot more satisfaction, and I feel that there is definitely space out there for my creatures.
How does your creation and production process look like?
Dana - It all starts with collecting cross board inspiration from different materials, colours, animal types, objects and interiors. The sketchbook with simple drawings simplifies the animals to a certain extent. Afterwards I work with the patterns and the first mook-ups/prototypes, that will be sent to my factories in order to further work on the creature shape, material and filling. Depending on the shape of the animal, it can take several rounds until the final shape is created and put into production.
Which part is the hardest?
It is a different thing to design a fashion piece on a mannequin where you know most of the body shape in comparison to design the shape of different creatures. Still, the hardest part concerns the sourcing for materials.
Each creature’s personality and eyes are very impressive. Do you visit the animals you create in order to get the right emotional touch?
No, I find aquariums sad, studying pictures and watching movies is enough inspiration for me.
Are you working on new designs and further product launches for this year?
Yes, I am launching several new colours of the Beluga, Minis and Manatees. I am also finally beginning to design a new collection, but here I am only in the starting phase.