New York Fashion Week kicked off Thursday, but it’s not Kylie Jenner or Karlie Kloss winning over the Big Apple’s red carpets. A warm, weird, cuddly muppet-lookalike called “Fuzzy Dude” is stealing the show.
Fuzzy Dude is a colorful ball of fuzz with big, round eyes that is being Photoshopped into GIFs all week as the anti-bullying mascot for the Fashion Week, created by Deutsch NY motion designer John McLaughlin. Deutsch loaned Fuzzy Dude gratis to Champions Against Bullying.
“It was a pleasure to work with such a talented team at Deutsch to help bring Fuzzy Dude to the forefront of this important issue,” said McLaughlin. “I never would’ve thought it could be a perfect medium to start the conversation around Anti-bullying but I’m happy to see it working out.” Look for Fuzzy Dude swanning about NYFW, posing with celebrities and fashion designers friends, all while spreading the gospel that while fashions come and go, being nice never goes out of style.
“He’s furry and friendly and makes friends with everyone,”said Jeremy Bernstein, evp and group creative director at Deutsch NY. “He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body (in fact it’s not clear that he has any bones at all.) To us, he was the perfect embodiment of our anti-bullying message ‘be nice now.’”
Those who want to accompany Fuzzy Dude on his journey can follow his Fashion Week adventures on Twitter at @antibullychamp. They can also get their own photos with him by posting a selfie along with the hashtag #NYFWfuzzies, and Fuzzy Dude will reply with a custom tweet and add himself to the picture.
Champions Against Bullying has also partnered with fashion designer Andres Aquino for his show on Feb 15, which will be opened by teen singer and spokesperson for Champions Against Bullying, Meredith O’Connor. At his show, Aquino will also showcase “Too Late,” a touching video where friends read the social media messages left behind teens for who committed suicide after being bullied.
MacLaughlin, for his part, created the character about two years ago and featured it prominently on his Tumblr. It was upon being officially invited by Tumblr to be a part of Fashion Week that the idea came about to have Fuzzy Dude literally plopped into the hands of notable people at the shows. As such, the little guy has already “posed” alongside Anna Wintour, Jeremy Scott, Whoopi Goldberg and Dakota Fanning.
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