There’s no doubt about it – artists and fashion designers are…excuse the pun…cut from the same cloth. Both disciplines require a unique eye for an aesthetic. Both create items of beauty, bring people joy, and give people an outlet for expressing themselves via their unique creations. Over the years, we’ve seen many wonderful Designer x Artist collaborations, so today – in honour of the commencement of London Fashion Week – we’re listing our favourite five of all time…
Alexander McQueen x Damien Hirst
Back in 2013, in honour of the 10th anniversary of Alexander McQueen’s iconic skull scarf, the fashion house launched a hotly-anticipated collaboration with Britain’s other biggest lover of skulls – Damien Hirst. A collaboration to end them all, Hirst created 30 limited edition designs, each adapted from his Entomology series, in which he uses insects to create kaleidoscopic geometric designs. In a nod to the late McQueen’s mutual love of both symmetry and the darker sides of nature, the designs feature insects laid out to create the signature McQueen skull motif.
Marc Jacobs x Magda Archer
Marc Jacobs’ fun-loving collaboration with artist and illustrator Magda Archer has won the affections of many an A Lister, including Harry Styles, Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber. The sweater and t-shirt collection teams Jacobs’ signature colourful flourishes with Archer’s cheeky cartoons, featuring fluffy animals bemoaning the realities of modern life. Whether it’s ‘Avoid toxic people’ or ‘I’m gonna die lonely’, these tongue-in-cheek offerings flew off the shelves.
Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami
Running from 2003 to 2015, Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Takashi Murakami was the longest-standing Louis Vuitton collaboration to date. Over the 12 year period, Murakami designed rugs and worked on films for the fashion house, which at that time had Marc Jacobs at the helm. But, it was the artist’s adaption of Vuitton’s classic Multicolore Monogram Collection with his signature colourful palette that made the world head to the shops. In the early 2000’s, no Hollywood starlet would dare step outside without this collab holding their valuables. With ‘logomania’ on the rise again, and demand increasing due to the Monogram Collection’s popularity with the likes of the Kardashians and Hadids, maybe this is a collaboration that’s set to get a second lease of life.
Nike x Dave White
Since pioneering the ‘Sneaker Art’ movement back in 2002 with his series of Pop Art-inspired oil paintings of sneakers, Dave White has enjoyed a successful collaboration with Nike. Here’s an interesting fact for you - White is one of only a handful of artists to have his own signature (Air) Jordan releases – the highest honour out there for any self-professed ‘sneakerhead.’ While there have been multiple iterations over the years, it’s White’s 2016 collaboration on the Nike Air Max 95’s that caused the biggest splash. Inspired by his Albion Series of paintings, which explored British wildlife, his Rabbit and Fox designs featured different features and colourways borrowed from his artworks.
Prada x Elmgreen and Dragset
And finally, a collaboration of sorts…even if the fashion house didn’t strictly condone it! Prada Marfa is a replica Prada store, stocked with real designer items, created by Berlin-based artistic team, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. The sculptural, non-functional boutique was built over 15 years ago on a stretch of remote highway in Texas, and was created in response to upmarket designer boutiques pricing art dealer’s out of New York’s SoHo. Everything inside the store is authentic Prada merchandise – although after the first set was looted from the installation within weeks, now the heavily-alarmed installation only features handbags without bottoms, and right-footed shoes. While the plan was to allow the artwork to quietly erode into the landscape, instead Prada Marfa has become something of a tourist attraction, with thousands of tourists visiting every year and even Beyoncé swinging by for a selfie.