Bauhound is a brand new line of striking Alpaca dog sweaters handmade in Bolivia. Founded in New York by Singaporean designer and illustrator Zhou Jixuan ("call me Xuan"), Bauhound is currently crowd-funding its first collection via Kickstarter. Wunderdog caught up with Xuan, who used to be afraid of dogs until two years ago, to chat about her background and her muse, Nugget
You are from Singapore and now live in New York City. Why did you move (for school?)?
I attended the Art Students League of New York for a few months about seven years ago and fell in love with NYC. I really like the anonymity of being in a big city, and the Museum of Modern Art happens to be my favorite museum of all time. When I decided to go back to school, it was a no-brainer that I had to study in NYC. I moved to study Graphic Design at Fashion Institute of Technology.
You say on your Kickstarter profile that you were once scared of dogs, but not longer are. What happened to scare you, and how did you get “cured”?
I worked very briefly at a sausage (yup, that's right!) factory in Singapore when I was a teenager. There was a resident stray dog there one day eating out of his bowl. I stupidly put my hand near his food. He snapped and almost bit me. I was also bitten a few times by my childhood hamster Bobby, so that didn't help. I was constantly afraid that I would get bitten by animals. There are so many dogs in NYC, compared to Singapore, and I can't help but realise how beautiful they are. I began visiting dog parks regularly for many months and the more I interacted with them, the more I realised that they are not as vicious as I imagined. It has only been around two years since I have gotten rid of my fear of dogs, and I am still amazed everyday that Nugget has not bitten my hand off!
I love the name Bauhound, and it seems to fit your brand perfectly. Can you describe your style?
I think through every design element, and am very focused on editing and getting rid of superfluous details. The end goal for my design work is always to be bold, concise, memorable, with a side of quirkiness. I also get a kick out of working in bright pops of colors.
How much help is your dog Nugget?
Everyone comments what a good model Nugget is by looking at her pictures. But in real life, she is actually super hyperactive and crazed. It can be difficult to get her to stay still. I get envious when I see other dog models posing for photos on the streets without a leash. Nugget would have ran away like a maniac before you know it. She thinks everything is a game of catch. She is not the most well-trained dog and her only redeeming factor is that she is sweet and loves everyone. To get back to your question, Nugget can be tricky to work with but at the same time Bauhound would not have existed without her.
What is Nugget getting for Christmas?
I am not sure yet... she gets so many presents and treats on a regular basis that it probably won't make any difference!
Click here for Bauhound's website. The Kickstarter campaigns ends on November 16, 2016.