eri wakayama is fashion's go-to illustrator

After working with Supreme and Miu Miu, the New York-based artist opens her first solo show.

by Jack Sunnucks
02 August 2019, 6:27pm

Left: Eri Wakayama. Right: Install shot by Brent Kerr. 

You may have seen Eri Wakayama’s surreal illustrations on her Instagram, @mermaidhair, or perhaps at Miu Miu or Supreme, where her work has adorned a variety of garments. Now, however, you can see an array of her work on paper, in her first solo show at Procell’s Delancey Street space in New York. “I have a big collection of all my drawings over the years and needed them to be shown,” Eri said before her opening. “I post on Instagram here and there but I’m not very good about it so showing it in person is really important to me. It was scary but felt like I needed to do it!” When asked how she combines a fashion career with her own art practice, she added “It's very hard to make time, especially when you work in this industry where you’re always struggling to find time to finish work and to balance yourself out. I can’t even think about myself most of the days. But being busy is a blessing.”

Many of her characters in her latest series are feasting upon foods, most notably ice cream and strawberries. “I use a lot of ice cream, but I can’t even eat it. [I’m] Allergic I think,” Eri laughed. “But I love the symbol of an ice cream. It’s youthful and delightful to many. When it’s gone, melted, so many sad faces on kids. It’s just pure junk food & like the idea of it.” The artist mainly works from home, of which she says “I do mostly in the wee hours of the night. I’m a night owl,” even if it means working in bed. As for what kind of fruit she’d be; “Dragonfruit? They are so strong on the exterior and bold, almost too scary you don’t want to try it, and inside they are white and pure, mellow taste, and not aggressive as they look.”

‘Crawling Drawing’ by Eri Wakayama will be on show at Procell, 5 Delancey Street, until August 17.

Eri Wakayama
Eri Wakayama
Photograph by Brent Kerr
Eri Wakayama
Eri Wakayama
Photography by Brent Kerr
Eri Wakayama
Eri Wakayama
mermaid hair
Eri Wakayama
i-D Asia