Comme des Garçons SHIRT collaborates with legendary artist Futura 2000.
Rei Kawakubo personally selected three of the artist's kinetic prints.
Comme des Garçons is legendary for its expertly curated collaborations, so it’s no surprise that for Autumn/Winter 20, their SHIRT line has chosen to work with New York artist Futura 2000. The artist, born Leonard Hilton McGurr, first gained notoriety in the 70s for his radical approach to art on the street -- essentially revolutionising graffiti. Since then, he’s worked across canvas, paper, sculpture, photography, graphic design and large-scale murals, exhibited at MOMA PS1, and collaborated with Chanel and Nike. For Comme des Garçons SHIRT, Rei Kawakubo selected three prints after meeting McGurr in the spring of last year, and somehow his kinetic, chaotic prints seem more relevant than ever.
McGurr sent i-D some unedited thoughts on the first time he saw a Comme des Garçons SHIRT, working with Kawakubo, and the role of graffiti in a time when many of us are rediscovering our own cities.
What about the spirit of Comme des Garcons do you identify with?
their history, their reputation, their quality, and of course, the creative direction from REI and her incredible team. I can remember seeing the CLASSIC CDG SHIRT, in the EIGHTIES, and not being able to afford one. haha.
Can you tell us about the prints you used for the collaboration?
the three images are from my paintings, which date back more than 25 years ago. it is fantastic to get this opportunity after such a timeline to bring back the colors and the energy of that era. the basic old dog, new tricks, principle.
What directions, if any, did Rei Kawakubo give you?
she was very open to the visual submissions we made for the shirt, tote, tee. but what she actually did with this collection, the variations, her imagination, the creativity, went far beyond any expectations I might have had. arigato.
What role does graffiti play in this time when many of us are rediscovering our own cities?
excellent question. and of course, it depends on whomever the (her/him/them/those) of the local communities are, and who is in a position to influence the (other) others. what crews are taking advantage? and the availabilities created by a lack of law enforcement. it does seem to be somewhat of an OPEN SEASON at the moment, but this actual moment in all of our lives is completely unprecedented. please stay safe, to everyone out there.
What are you hopeful for?
the introduction of my work, to a new audience.
The collection is available now at Dover Street Market and Comme des Garçons stores worldwide.