It seems to a lot of people that artists are the hermit ones, locked in their studios, not very interested in ordinary things. It’s not like this though. Collaboration is one of the most powerful tools to draw attention to art.
Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí
The union of Dalí and Schiaparelli is one of the first collaborations of an artist and a designer in the history of fashion. In 1937, Schiaparelli and Dalí created the first masterpiece — an evening dress made of white organza with a lobster on the skirt. In this dress the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, subsequently appeared in the Cecil Beaton shoot.
Alexander McQueen and Damien Hirst
It was the fascination with skulls that prompted the British fashion house Alexander McQueen to recruit the scandalous star of the art market Damien Hirst for cooperation. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iconic skull print scarf, Hearst created a limited series of 30 designs adapted from his Entomology series. In this collection the butterflies and insects that inhabit the artist's Dante-inspired aesthetic are laid out to create the Alexander McQueen skull motif.
Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami
The 2003 accessories collection is arguably one of the most commercially successful collaborations of fashion and art, demonstrating the economic potential resulting from the collision of fashion and art. Designed by a Japanese pop artist, these bags with the colorful LV monogram can be for sure considered one of the most memorable in the 00s.
Raf Simons x Robert Mapplethorpe
The Fall/Summer menswear collection shown at Pitti Uomo in 2017 was inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe's incredible photographs. Some of the artist's main artworks, such as his portraits of Patti Smith, as well as lesser-known erotic photographs, were printed on clothes. But Mapplethorpe's art was also present in more referential forms. For example, in white shirts with a wide collar, which could be seen on the catwalk. By the way, it was the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation that contacted Simons, allowing him to view the photographer's archive in order to create his transgressive works in fashion direction.
Stella McCartney and Ed Ruscha
In 2016, American artist Ed Ruscha brought his signature to Stella McCartney's winter campaign #Stellacares. Reflecting the production ethic of the fashion designer, the campaign images shot by photographer Harley Weir were supplemented with phrases such as "No Meat" and "Veg out" in the Boy Scout Utility Modern typeface, written without serifs, typically for Ruscha, which he created in the 1980s and which became a central component of his art.
Yves Saint Laurent and Pete Mondrian
Artist Pete Mondrian inspired the creation of the classic and iconic Yves Saint Laurent dress. In the fall of 1965, the fashion house released a loose dress of a classic trapezoidal shape, characteristic of the 60s.
Comme Des Garçons and Cindy Sherman
This 1994 collaboration still prevails over many later fashion photography campaigns. The feminist photographer, known for subverting male gaze with her self-portraits, has managed to combine art and fashion, challenging conventional cliches.
Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama
The collection released by Louis Vuitton was playful and bold, with the artist's signature bright spots that could be seen on every item, from handbags to dresses.
KAWS and North Face
"I have always admired the iconic silhouettes of The North Face — they’ve been replacing each other in my winter clothing collection for many years. The seams, fasteners and details were really perfect for me to design my painting on them, so I treated the clothes in our collaborative collection as a blank canvas," said KAWS.
As you can see, artist collaborations with brands are an example of successful and vibrant interaction that perform the tasks of both sides.