“We’re all going to die, so why not wear something crazy?” says Nicole Daddona, founder and designer of New York–based fashion brand Magic Society. “Wearing something bold is a low-risk way to experience life on another wavelength. I’ve met more people by wearing a bag made out of a blow-up doll than I ever have doing anything else.”
Daddona, also known as Friday, is discussing how bold sartorial choices can connect us to our surroundings. She’s also describing the Judy Bag—a purse literally made from the head of a deadstock blow-up doll—which perfectly epitomizes the surreal, absurd, and humorous pieces that define Magic Society.
Founded in 2016, Magic Society’s creations are characterized by Daddona as lowbrow high fashion. “To me, that means ‘look at me’ statement pieces that don’t take themselves too seriously,” she says. “I’m a strong believer that fashion should be playful and accessible.” The brand’s offerings include cheeky graphic tees emblazoned with slogans like “Thrift Slut” and “Virgin Who Can’t Drive,” a bikini patterned with ’90s Internet iconography (including the phrase “Welcome to My Homepage!” in an Angelfire-esque font), and a “hand bag”—meaning a purse in the shape of an oversized manicured hand. Up next, Daddona says she is working on an Italian restaurant collection inspired by her many childhood visits to local eateries, plus a desire to “walk around dressed like a tablecloth” in honor of her Italian ancestors.
An incredibly vast range of pop-culture references, from comic books to teen movies, inspire Daddona’s designs. Currently, Abba, Carrie director Brian De Palma, and the concept of retrofuturism (think how ’60s media visualized “the future”) are sparking her creativity. Daddona’s ideas often come to her in the shower, then she ruminates on potential pieces in a routine she calls “somewhat chaotic.” “My creative process looks like me staring into space while lying under a weighted blanket,” she says. “I like to formulate the piece in my mind like a hologram in some old episode of Star Trek.” This step is followed by sketching, which the designer says she usually does on forgotten napkins found in her purse. “Then I take the idea to Procreate, where I draw it up the best that I can before sharing it with my seamstress, who helps bring it into reality.”
The uniqueness of Magic Society is also informed by Daddona’s projects outside of the fashion space. The multihyphenate is a comedian and filmmaker who has worked with studios like Adult Swim, MTV, and Cartoon Network. Not only does Daddona’s movie making influence her distinct style, but it’s also representative of why Magic Society exists in the first place: “We’re all the main characters of our own movie, so why not dress the part?” she says. “Why not make it possible for others to do so, too?”