Fatboy brings a pop of color to uncertain times

Few brands are as cheerful and undeniably positive as Fatboy. Design Stories met with the brand's Creative Director Pauline Barendregt to talk about Fatboy's colorful essence, her favorite projects and one of the most surprising design collaborations of the year.

Fatboy Original Slim Pop bean bag, blossom
Fatboy is known for its joyful colors and plentiful selection of furniture and lighting for both indoors and outdoors. The new “Pop of Colour” collection is now available.

IN 2020, MOST OF US HAVE BEEN SPENDING an unprecedented amount of time at home. Everyday products that make us smile in clever, unexpected ways are contributing to our emotional well-being more than ever, and the Dutch brand Fatboy is definitely the king of such fun yet practical design. Creative Director Pauline Barendregt is responsible for the brand's vision, so we couldn't think of anyone better to give us some insight on Fatboy's latest news and plans for the future.

Fatboy's Creative Director Pauline Barendregt
Before her career at Fatboy, Creative Director Pauline Barendregt was the Head of Design at G-Star for 10 years and an entrepreneur in her own design strategy studio.

Hi, Pauline! What does a Creative Director do at Fatboy?
“Fatboy is a brand with so much potential that it inspires me for a lot of new initiatives. I set and guard Fatboy's DNA and translate it into everything we do, be it product design, visual communication or storytelling. On a daily basis, it means I am in meetings with our product development team about our new innovations, where I take big and small decisions on shapes, materials, fabrics, colors, finishes, and so on.

Besides in-house designers, Fatboy works also with external designers so I am always in contact with the ones that fit the Fatboy DNA. I am in close contact with photographers to discuss how to visualize the Fatboy world, and I am working with our creative team on all visual communication and storytelling. For me, the big picture and strategy have to be clear but the devil is in the details.”

Fatboy's Tjoepke lamps
The rechargeable, splash-proof Tjoepke lamp is a modern interpretation of a traditional fluorescent tube.
Fatboy's Edison the Petit lamp
The sizes of Fatboy's Edison lamps range from mini to oversized. Edison the Petit has a height of 25 centimeters.
Fatboy's Bolleke lamps
The Bolleke lamps are easy to hang on a tree branch or wall hook. A full charge can provide light for up to 24 hours.

Which have been the highlights of your career at Fatboy so far?
“In summer 2020, we launched new innovations that were really well received. The garden furniture series Toni is based on a classic bistro set with a modern twist, and another one is the outdoor modular couch called Paletti. We worked really hard on these big projects and I am so proud of the result!

I also have to mention our indoor product photography for autumn 2020. We created a Fatboy indoor world in the houses of creative personalities showcasing our indoor product range, new innovations and existing collection in a very personal and inspirational way.”

We heard there’s a new exciting product launch coming up this autumn. Could you tell us more about that?
“Yes! It’s the collaboration with Carole Baijings where we redefined our favorite, the Original bean bag. When I started at Fatboy, I immediately thought of Carole. Fatboy stands for colorful, bold design and she has such a beautiful taste in color. Her work is very colorful but refined and never vulgar. The design philosophy of Fatboy is close to Carole's point of view on design, so it was a good match.

When I reached out to her we discussed developing an Original that she and I would like to have in our living room. We have known each other for over 20 years but had never worked together before. Developing the perfect fabric and finish was such a pleasure.

The result is the Pop of Colour collection. And yes, we both would definitely like to have an Original Pop in our living rooms so we reached the goal. Actually, it will be hard to choose from the six different color compositions! I am happy we also have a Pop Pillow collection in the same color options because they are beautiful when mixed together.”

Carole Baijings and Pauline Barendregt
Designer Carole Baijings and Pauline Barendregt collaborated on Fatboy's new Pop of Colour collection.
Carole Baijings
Carole Baijings creates her own colors and compositions in an atelier way of working.
Pauline Barendregt and Carole Baijings
“The design philosophy of Fatboy is close to Carole's point of view on design, so it was a good match”, Pauline summarizes.
Fatboy Original Slim Pop bean bag, blossom
The Original Pop bean bags are available in six different color combinations.
Fatboy Original Slim Pop bean bag, ground
“Developing the perfect fabric and finish was such a pleasure,” says Pauline Barendregt.

Do you have any dream collaborations that would be a good fit for Fatboy?
“If I am allowed to dream – I admire Jonathan Ive. He was the Chief Design Officer of Apple. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times and he is not only a revolutionary designer but also a very kind person. It would be an honor to work with him one day.”

“Fatboy is a brand that is supporting the good life close to home in a way that makes you smile.”

The world has changed a lot in 2020. What changes have you seen in the products that people are choosing for their home?
“In these insecure times, we see that people appreciate more what they have. An increasing amount of time is spent indoors and gardens at home and everyone would like to make them comfortable, safe havens. Fatboy is a brand that is supporting the good life close to home in a way that makes you smile. We are grateful that a lot of customers have found our brand in these heavy times.”

Fatboy's Toni chairs
The Toni chairs by Erik Stehmann are available in five distinctive colors.
Fatboy Headdemock
The Headdemock was one of Fatboy's best selling designs in summer 2020. “Since most of us did not travel for the holidays the Headdemock gives an instant happy holiday feeling in your own garden or balcony,” Pauline Barendregt says.
Fatboy's Paletti couch
Fatboy's Paletti is a modular lounge system designed for outdoor use. The modules are made mostly of recycled materials.

What are your favorite Fatboy products?
“It is difficult to choose! In my garden, it is the Paletti couch: fun, so comfortable and chic at the same time. In my living room, my favorite is the new Original Pop we created together with Carole Baijings.”

What does your own home look like?
“I live with my husband and kids in a classic canal house in the center of Amsterdam. I am a collector so my house is a treasure box of vintage design, modern design, art, and crazy curiosities.”

What do you do when you are not working?
“I love to be in my little house on the beach in Wijk aan Zee. Staring at the North Sea and the clouds is ultimately relaxing to me and a source of inspiration at the same time. I always have my best ideas at my little beach house and under the shower!”

Fatboy's Tjoepke lamp
The Tjoepke lamp is equally suitable for indoor and outdoor use. You can switch on the light simply by turning the lamp upside down.
Fatboy's Lamzac
The lightweight air lounger Lamzac is one of Fatboy's many products for fun and stylish outdoor relaxing.
Fatboy Original bean bag
The Fatboy Original bean bags were originally created by Finnish designer Jukka Setälä in 1998. Today, the iconic bean bags come in a range of colors, sizes and materials.

Fatboy is a brand that is constantly evolving. Where do you see it in five years?
“We will definitely continue our sustainability strategy, so our goal is to have taken substantial steps in reducing our ecological footprint. I also hope that our new products have become proven design classics. The Fatboy brand has so much potential, and I hope that by this time we will have fulfilled a lot of this promise and shown many new, unconventional design initiatives.

In five years, we will have a strong range of innovative outdoor products, inspiring designer collaborations, and a strong indoor design portfolio. And I hope that we had a lot of fun while working on these projects and that we have reached the hearts of many customers with them!”

“Fatboy is a positive brand that looks at things with an unexpected point of view.”

Finally, what is the essence of Fatboy?
“Fatboy is a positive brand that looks at things with an unexpected point of view and inspires people to live a good life. Besides quality and durability, we also stand for bold, unconventional and iconic design. Our products look sometimes simple but have a lot of hidden ingenuity that you experience once you own and use them. Fatboy adds a smile to life.”

Fatboy favorites

Original bean bag
Toni armchair
Bolleke lamp
Point Velvet pouf
Edison the Petit lamp
Tjoepke lamp

About Fatboy:

• The Fatboy Original bean bag chair was created by Finnish designer Jukka Setälä in 1998.
• The Dutch brand Fatboy was founded by Alex Bergman in 2002.
• Specializes in indoor and outdoor furniture, lighting and home accessories.
• Today, Fatboy products are sold in over 50 countries and every continent.

See also:

Fatboy's Pop of Colour collection >
More products from Fatboy >

Text: Irene de Mas Castanyer Images: Inga Powilleit and Fatboy

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