paper dolls – The Cut magnetic dolls

This summer was an exciting one for The CutNew York Magazine‘s fashion news blog got a major makeover, adding tons of new features and content, making it a stand-alone online destination for smart women who dig fashion. I especially love the exhaustive, biographical lookbooks of style icons, more long-form posts like these ones, and of course the comprehensive runway image database with the super-useful trend search functions… and back views!

This summer was also an exciting one for me because I received my favourite commission of my career so far – to create a series of five magnetic dolls for a media kit to promote The Cut‘s new look to major advertisers. It was a dream job in a lot of ways – creative director Owen Fegan gave me a tremendous level of trust, encouraging me to produce the most fashionable, fun dolls I could. We couldn’t reference any actual designer items, so I was also in the unusual position of designing “generic” designer clothing that reflected the best of 2012. It was a terrific creative challenge. Every day I worked on this, I felt amazed to be doing something I loved so much for such a great client.

The finished dolls were printed on magnetic sheets and laser cut with incredible accuracy. The results were the most beautiful physical renditions of my paper dolls I’ve ever touched.

The first doll represents Fashions. She is inspired by runway fashions, especially the more androgynous, avant-garde, minimalist ones. I tried to create a set of separates that could be mixed in a variety of ways to maximize the fun factor.


The second doll represents Fame. She has a super-glamourous, super-feminine, red carpet inspired wardrobe, with sparkly accessories.

The third doll represents Love & War. So, naturally, a boyfriend doll! I had a lot of fun making him as cute as possible giving him a variety of items ranging from boho to posh, depending on which of the three female dolls he’s dating at the time. I haven’t done many male dolls – I think I should do more.

The fourth doll represents Beauty. I pitched something a little different this time – a bust with a range of eye makeup and lipstick styles to mix and match. Since this doll is magnetic and doesn’t require tabs, it was a chance to try something new. I’m not a beauty illustrator – I’ve discovered that this is a whole specialization unto itself. Still, I love a challenge.


The fifth doll represents Goods. She’s the shopaholic of the bunch and she loves accessories and trendy stuff – whether it’s half-tucks, arm parties, cut-offs, or crop tops. Inspired by all of the it girls, personal style and street style blogs out there, she’s a hip, pretty young thing.

Thanks so much to The Cut, and Owen – who is amazing to work with – for giving me such a wonderful opportunity! I loved it!

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16 thoughts on “paper dolls – The Cut magnetic dolls”

  1. I did a set of dress-up magnets a few years back, but mine weren’t nearly so polished! The magnetic paper didn’t stick to itself so I did it flip-book style, and drew straight on.

    Magnetic is the future of paper dolls! I don’t know why they aren’t everywhere.

    Your work looks great. And congrats on getting such a terrific project!

  2. Thanks Joi, Anita and Claire! Joi, unfortunately this is an exclusive object, solely for The Cut’s mailing list. So it is not for sale, at least for now.

    You could try what Claire did – purchase one of my other paper doll PDFs and then print it on magnetic paper, or print it on sticker paper and apply to magnetic paper, and then carefully cut it out. I’ve had some fans do this before… it looks like fun for crafty types!

  3. I LOVE this, Danielle – what an incredible project. Congrats! Wish I could get my greedy paws on these as well! =)

    I’m especially enamoured of the male doll – I like how many styles he has in his arsenal.

  4. wonderful stuff danielle! the make up one is really ingenious, really because its so simple, you could do a large whole body one so the head is big enough to do the make up too 🙂

  5. Amazing Danielle! I’m happy for your latest accomplishment. The Cut made the right choice in you! Wish I could get my hands on a set of your magnetic paper dolls.

  6. Something like this for resale to the public sounds like a great kickstarter project. I’d buy at least one set if not two. I have an ugly file cabinet that needs decorating.

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