Nguyen Dinh Thanh
The world of luxury fashion has found many fruitful collaborations with street art.
At its inception, graffiti was an outsider art, ostracized and outlawed. However, galleries and museums ultimately began to welcome graffiti into their collections; these days, it comes as no surprise that a work by renowned street artist Banksy can sell for millions at auction.
Graffiti and street art has also made its way into the realm of luxury fashion.
In 2001, Marc Jacobs, at that time creative director of Louis Vuitton, invited artist Stephen Sprouse to bring his graffiti-inspired art to the brand’s legendary bags; the collaboration made a splash in the fashion world and further erased the line between street art and luxury goods.
Louis Vuitton also launched a series of Artist Scarves, inviting street artists such as Kenny Scharf, André Saraiva and INTI to design their own scarves. Artist Scarf edition.
Another street artist who has crossed over into the fashion realm is Vietnamese-born French artist Cyril Phan (also known worldwide as Cyril Kongo). In 1993, he created eight paintings in a graffiti vernacular for fashion house Couturier Paco Rabanne. The works were put on display in Galeries Lafayette, the luxury shopping mall at the heart of Paris. In 2011, Kongo joined Hermes in the creation of silk scarf collection Graff, which wedded fashion with graffiti in vital colors that straddled and blurred all boundaries. This scarf collection was immediately wildly sought after the world over.
Luxury fashion would seem at first glance an odd couple with street art. But both sides have pushed boundaries to bring a fresh and vital energy to the runway and to keep luxury items relevant to new generations of fans.