In this week’s issue of New York magazine, New York City-based artist Gigi Hadid explores the power of her new silicone baby dolls and the importance of the toy industry in the face of new technology.
“We have this whole industry that is just about making the perfect baby,” Hadid says, “and it’s very much about creating the perfect robot.
But when you take it apart and you put it back together, the robot will still be imperfect.”
As a result, Hadid’s work explores the intersection of child and robot.
“I wanted to make something that was really beautiful and that was fun and that’s about humanizing this technology,” she says.
“It’s like a dream come true.”
As with most things that Hadid does, the idea for her new toy came about after her daughter, Sophia, was born.
“My daughter was born in January, but the day she came home I started painting,” Hadids says.
“[Sophia] had just been crying for a while, and I thought it would be really cool to play with her and have her play with the dolls.”
After reading about the concept of dolls being created in a vacuum, Hadids wanted to build something for her daughter that could hold her and help her to get through her day.
“The more I looked at the dolls and realized they were just pieces of metal and plastic, the more I wanted to get them out of my house and to make things,” Hadides says.
After having a lot of ideas about the dolls, Hadis says she got some help from her boyfriend, and he designed the first one.
“When he said, ‘I’ll do it for you,’ it was really like, ‘You’re going to do it,'” Hadids recalls.
“And he did it.
He went to work, and the next day I got a call saying, ‘We have a doll.
It’s called Gigi.’
I was like, Wow.
This is awesome.”
Hadid began to work on the doll, and eventually the company was named Gigi Hasid Dolls.
The company is now based in New York and Hasid’s new line of baby dolls is being sold at toy stores and online.
“For me it’s like getting a second child,” Hadida says.
“‘We have the right toy.
We’ve got the right robot.
Let’s make a doll.'”
The dolls are also available online for people to customize.
The line has sold over 100,000 dolls, but Hasid says she expects the number to double over the next couple of years.
“That’s a lot,” she laughs.
“What can I say, I’m a little OCD.
I just keep counting how many more I have to get.
But I think we’re going crazy.”