STEIFF SPOTLIGHT: 2016 DESIGNER'S CHOICE - JACKSON TEDDY BEAR & ELI THE ELEPHANT
Every year, one Steiff designer receives the coveted order to reinterpret a Steiff classic with their own touch of originality. In 2016, Urike Schrem – a Steiff designer since 1996- was bestowed with this prestigious honour, and she decided to take her inspiration from the inspiring concept of upcycling, transforming ‘good and old’ into ‘good and new’.
Schrem cited American painter Paul Jackson Pollock as another major influence in her conceptual process. An abstract expressionist in the early 1900s, Pollock was well known for his unique technique of drip painting, an artistic style strongly manifested in the myriad of colours splattered across the fleece bodies of both Uli the Elephant and Jackson Teddy.
With his rounded tummy, padded paws, and oh-so-endearing gaze, Jackson bears all the trappings of a true Steiff classic. He is crafted from a soft non-woven fleece fabric, with unique paint-splashed colours that ensures no two Jacksons in the world will ever truly be fully identical.
With soles padded with batik mohair and a two-layer wool felt scarf draped around his neck, Jackson is a perfected unique specimen that embodies all the characteristics of a real Steiff masterpiece; one we foresee will enter Steiff’s records as one of the most outstanding Designer’s Choice items in history.
Originally designed to be a pincushion, Margarete Steiff’s very first creation, the little elephant, has since gone on to become the brand’s most symbolic trademark today. With her bowed head, upturned trunk and long ears, Uli may seem traditional in all her trimmings and yet she is anything but. Her traditional wool felt saddle completes her classic look, but her colour-splashed fleece screams modern and spirited, reflecting the changes in Steiff’s artistic direction over the past 136 years. And just like Jackson, the uniqueness of her fabric ensures that no two Ulis in this world will ever be exactly the same.