The relationship between contemporary art and fashion

By | May 9, 2020

Contemporary art today is not only framed and displayed in museums, but also appears in fashionable outfits, through the creative perspective of designers and significant business thrust.

Nowadays, collaborative projects between a fashion brand with another brand, or a celebrity is no longer just a trend but a must-do if you want to create something new, and most importantly, is driving sales for the brand. If analyzing a successful collaboration project, what makes it successful is based on the popularity and style of the two sides, combining them to come up with something new. The creative director of a luxury brand can choose to combine with a mid-range brand, in a new customer segment to resonate and attract young potential customers. Recent hit projects include Nike in conjunction with Dior Men, Prada with Adidas …

There are other creative directors inspired by their own passion in contemporary art. They collaborate with artists they love, who are respected by the popularity of the work that resonates and greatly influences the community.

Raf Simons is a prominent designer and pioneer in the movement to collaborate with contemporary artists. During his heyday at Jil Sander, Raf was known for the collections inspired by the works of Picasso, Mark Rothko or Brian Calvin, but most persistently with Sterling Ruby, a close friend of his. The Fall-Winter 2014 collection of menswear brand Raf Simons marks the first time collaborating with Raf’s Ruby Ruby, creating a huge buzz in the fashion-loving community. This was followed by his first Haute Couture collection for the Dior family and later designed the chain store for Calvin Klein. Bolder and more playful, Calvin Klein spent millions of dollars just to let Raf Simons print pop art works and images of American artist Andy Warhol on the costumes.

The shining star of today’s menswear world, Kim Jones, is no less competitive. Unlike Raf Simons, Kim focused on collaborating with famous and influential artists with young people, in line with the new Dior Men. In the first collection of Dior Men, Kim collaborated with American artist Kaws to create not only a famous giant doll model but also accessories and youthful costumes. With the Pre-fall 2019 collection held in Tokyo, Kim chose the image of the hot robot from Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama as the focus of the stage. Or recently, in the Pre-fall 2020 in Miami, Kim invited the legendary streetwear 90s Shawn Stussy to collaborate, drawing for the BST unique text handwriting.