All images courtesy TeenyTini (c) Kalle Klinsky.
The German soft toy company TeenyTini has just launched its 2020 collection of characters including a Vincent doll inspired by Van Gogh among various animals and imaginary creatures. TeenyTini’s toys – organic art pieces – are designed by Julia Lange and made in Berlin.
Julia studied design at Hochschule für Künste in Bremen, one of two colleges for fashion design in Germany. While at college she developed a passion for children’s wear and her degree show Sometimes childhood comes along gained her a 1st class MA in fashion design. In 2007, after working for London Fashion Week designers Julia focused her creativity on her first love, making soft art for the inner child.
Two successful years later Julia was faced with an unforeseeable challenge. She was diagnosed with Leber optic Atrophy, a hereditary illness leaving her with a dormant optic nerve. She lost 90% of her eyesight. Julia moved to Bergerac in the south west of France where she realized that Teenytini’s pieces always existed in her heart first and then became figurative. The colours of the Aquitaine region inspired her first collection after the disastrous diagnosis. It consisted of two-dimensional animals in soft, organic, handmade fabrics and vibrant, often purposely mismatching patterns.
The success of the collection reinstated her lust for life and art and Julia opened a showroom in Berlin. Each of Teenytini’s pieces is still handmade from organic cotton and stuffed with natural fibres only. Teenytini is sold in museums and shops all over the world, currently in 17 countries.
We first covered Teenytini in 2014 as a news item in Issue 57: Meteorological, now available as a digital magazine. This issue considered how battling adverse conditions can bring out the best in us, on a human level and also in terms of innovation, including how ‘agro textiles’ are increasing food production and assisting in the clean-up of environmental disasters and “the long, slow revolution” that lies behind high-performance, outdoor textiles.
For more information about TeenyTini visit de.teenytini.com
To buy Issue 57 and browse the entire Selvedge library, visit our back issues.