Collaborations between luxury fashion brands and fine artists are a long-established tradition – see Rites, Rituals & Culture Clubs and Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces. But a new wave of concepts using more unusual choices of artists, intimate vistas into brand worlds or mementoes of the cultural experience illustrate an evolved attitude.
- Aspirational Accessibility: Irish fashion designer Simone Rocha's new NYC boutique revels in extraordinary pieces by iconic artists that have inspired her collections, including French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois and American painter Robert Rauschenberg. Extending an enticing hand of aspirational accessibility, Rocha has created a limited-edition photo book of art, available exclusively in-store, detailing works of her key motivators.
- Revolving Gallery of Inspirations: Irish fashion designer J.W. Anderson (also creative director of Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe) has indefinitely suspended plans for a flagship in favour of a gallery-inspired, revolving showcase of collaborative projects with "kindred creative spirits". The space is adjacent to London's Ace Hotel – see full blog post for more.
- Boundary-Pushing Pop-Ups: In March 2017, both Coach and Louis Vuitton bolstered their cultural cred via upscale pop-up shops with artists dealing in an alternative edge. Coach partnered with LA-based illustrator Gary Baseman, whose cartoonishly grim drawings add a mischievous edge to its Americana-rooted collection and Bloomingdale's (NYC) pop-ups. The spaces mix chrome, wood and neon street signs. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton's New York menswear pop-up has been designed with provocative Brits Jake and Dinos Chapman, who also influenced the collection. The interior is covered with sprawling, almost-gothic style illustrations of African animals.