Magic Society is an independent Los Angeles based clothing and accessories brand inspired by pop culture, underground comics, childlike wonder, and surrealism.
Magic Society is designed and run by artist, comedian, fashion designer, and filmmaker Nicole Daddona whose art has gained international press from Buzzfeed, BUST Magazine, PAPER, The Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan and many others.
Magic Society creates lowbrow high fashion clothing and accessories for people of all sizes with a focus on bold and bright design. Wearing Magic Society makes you feel like magic! All of Magic Society’s products are made with love, great attention to detail and, of course, magic.
There’s way more than meets the eye when it comes to all the magic Friday is making, so we needed to dig a little deeper!
Tell us about your story and your relationship with creativity and art
My creativity is my best friend and greatest ally. I love letting my mind roam free to create. When I’m making art is when I feel the most alive and in touch with myself and the universe. I make art in a lot of different mediums including film, comedy, video art, photography, plush toys, puppetry, painting, illustration, fashion, and music.
I started filmmaking with my film and television creative partner Adam Wilder around seven years ago. We’ve made a handful of short films, lots of short form videos and two feature films so far together. We’ve also developed series with Adult Swim, Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, and MTV under our production company Magic Society Pictures.
We just finished up post production on our second feature film called Kugel that was shot during lockdown. We plan to shoot our third feature in the late summer, which I’m so excited about because it’s going to be very stylized and artful.
I’m currently working on a comedy special called The Loneliset Show On The Internet. It’s sort of a deranged macabre Pee-wee’s Playhouse. I’m also working on photo book called Trophy Wives that I’ll be releasing later this year as well as a debut EP I’ve been working on in my spare time for the past few years.
What a major turning point in your career?
Looking back, I think the major turning point for me was working a corporate job right out of college. I was told growing up that the artists couldn’t make a living and I shouldn’t count on art as a career. In high school I was told that the only “real job” an artist could have was as a graphic designer, so that’s what I decided to major in during college, even though I wasn’t really feeling it.
I wasn’t exposed to any working artists growing up and neither of my parents were artists, so even though I knew I wanted to become a working artist, I had no roadmap as to how to make that happen. The corporate job out of college had its creative moments.
I draw a little, but it absolutely drained me not getting to make whatever kind of art I wanted to make whenever I wanted to make it. Working there showed me that a corporate job just wasn’t for me. When I was in my early 20s I got a job driving an RV around the country with the television series Roadtrip Nation.
Their whole message was to inspire young people to pursue their passions in life and being around that mentality every day while getting to see the country in the RV after growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut opened my mind to the idea that I could make art and creativity my career if I wanted to.
It took a lot of trial and error, but I eventually found a way to support myself with my art and work for myself. I struggled a lot to get here and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m so grateful. I hope I can inspire other artists to pursue their own creativity. There isn’t enough dialogue out there about how to thrive as an artist. The narrative is always the “starving artist” and it’s time that changed.
Who was your mentor? If there ever was one
Pursuing art as a career was something I was told I couldn’t do very often. Even some of the people I trusted the most in my life would tell me there was no career in the arts that existed. Like, I know my art kind of sucked when I was first starting out, but I wish someone had told me there were ways I could make a living as an artist.
I don’t blame the people who discouraged me from pursuing art because I think they were ultimately just trying to protect me from the idea of the starving artist. Luckily, I was able to seek out and meet successful creative people along the way who helped me realize that artists don’t have to starve and that creativity is something that I could actually make a living off of.
As for specific mentors, I spend a ton of time listening to interviews and masterclasses with amazing artists and creatives alive and dead on Youtube, Tik Tok, and podcasts. I love hearing about their roads to success.
Looking back, I think I really was my own mentor. Something inside of me has always told me to keep going even when things seem impossible. I’ve learned to trust the process and the journey, but most importantly to trust myself and my inner creative compass.
What are your main artistic and creative inspirations?
I love people watching. Humans are so fascinating when they’re just going about their lives. There’s endless inspiration in existing. I also get a huge rush of inspiration from listening to music. I get some of my best ideas while driving and listening to music.
For my film and video work, I’m very inspired by the early work of Tim Burton. I love the worlds and characters from films like Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. I must have watched Beetlejuice 500 times as a kid.
I also find a lot of inspiration in the work of other creative greats like Andy Warhol, John Waters, Andy Kafuman, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leigh Bowery, Klaus Nomi, Jim Henson, Tiny Tim, Pierre Cardin, Salvador Dali, and Noel Fielding – ah there are so many more!
My creative aesthetic tends to live somewhere between dreamcore/weirdcore, retro futurism from the 50s to the 80s, and some hybrid of New Wave and Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
Top 3 photographers you would love to collaborate with
Living photographers – Nadia Lee Cohen, Maris Jones, and Parker Day (we’ve already collaborated a few times, but would love to again!)
Dead photographers – Philippe Halsman, Richard Avedon, Man Ray
What is it that really drives your work? What is the purpose behind it?
Most of my work has a comedic edge to it or it makes the viewer (hopefully) feel something nostalgic and inviting while simultaneously making them a bit unsettled. It’s a fun ride! I’m heavily inspired, even if on a subconscious level, by my east coast upbringing. I spend a lot of time mentally revisiting the people and places I grew up surrounded by in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
My grandmother lived in New Jersey and every room of her house had a different theme. There was a jungle room, a wicker room, and even a George Washington room for some reason. She was so glamorous and such a hilarious person. She definitely had a huge influence on me, my sense of humor, and my outlook on life. She taught me not to take things too seriously and to enjoy it all.
My other grandmother was Italian and loved to cook. I’m very attracted to boisterous, flamboyant, eccentric, and fun people and situations. I like my work to have that air to it.
There’s definitely always a message to my work, but I’m not entirely sure what it is always until way later when I look back on it. When I do know the message, I don’t like to give it away. I think figuring that out is the viewers job and since art is so arbitrary, everyone may get something different from it.
What would you change in the fashion/artistic scene today?
I would love to see more underground and underrepresented designers and artists get the recognition they deserve. I know of SO MANY incredible creatives who do the most amazing work, but rarely get press or coverage.
This was one of the main motivations behind starting up my biannual print magazine FRIDAY. I wanted to create a platform where fellow artists, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, fashion designers, and overall interesting creatives could be highlighted and seen.
I also alway want to see more diversity and size inclusivity in mainstream fashion and fashion ads. It’s so important. I remember back to the early 2000s when I was a pre-teen and how everyone was so incredibly skinny and celebrities would always be called out as “fat” when they were absolutely not fat. That is such a toxic environment for a young person to grow up in.
I’m glad there are some advances being made in size inclusivity and diversity in the mainstream, but there’s still so far to go. We need to realize that we are all humans and that humans all look different! It’s so silly to push a beauty standard that just simply isn’t the norm.
IG: @funwithfriday @magicsociety @fridaymag @sexyfurby69