selfridges celebrates shakespeare with a series of artist-driven capsule collections
Novelist, Little Simz, Krept & Konan, Rejjie Snow and James Massiah team up with some of Britain’s best brands.
Marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, Selfridges celebrates the Bard with a combination of poetry, performances and panels in-store this summer. As part of a larger halo campaign - Shakespeare reFASHIONed - Shakespeare rCITEd poses the infamous Coriolanus question, what is the city but the people?
Recognising our own rappers as the embodiment of latter-day Shakespeare's, British rhymers including Little Simz, Novelist and Krept and Konan will perform at the iconic department store over a series of evenings this summer, exploring some of the Shakespearian themes prevalent within their own work. "We're like the millennial Shakespeare's," says Konan who adds they often get kids studying their lyrics in school. "The only difference is we tell our stories in the first-person, he told his in the second. He was telling the story, we are the story."
To tie-in with the project, each artist was teamed with a leading young British based designer to collaborate on a line of clothing to commemorate the project. All proceeds from each line, available to buy on the night of each performance, go directly to the charity of the artist's choice - all of which are youth and education focused. "I chose Marsha Phoenix, a housing project in south London for young women aged 16-25," says Novelist, who worked with budding brand New Future London on his capsule. "It's close to my heart because my mum both works there and actually went there herself when she was younger. So I hope we can sell some garms to help keep it running as well as it already does."
Other collaborations include Krept and Konan and Astrid Andersen, Little Simz and Caitlin Price and Rejjie Snow and Life's A Beach. Rising spoken word star, James Massiah, who kicks off the events on 7 July, worked with Liam Hodges on a line inspired by nineties hip hop labels and eighties heavy metal merch. "We looked at a lot of the Ruff Ryders and No Limit artwork and the skull-based heavy metal merch, which obviously ties in well with Shakespeare," says Hodges. For his evening, which includes a bar courtesy of Hennessy, Massiah will be joined on the decks by DJ Maximum BBK, Preditah and Siobhan Bell, while mic duty will be handled by YGG and Shorty BBK. "I'm going to operate as a sort of narrator throughout. So you'll have me speaking, before we crunch it back into the party vibe," James explains. "The overall idea is a nod to the democratic, often improvised nature of Shakespeare's performances; it's about the experience for everyone there, not just those on 'stage'."
To attend performances by Rejjie Snow (20 July), Novelist (11 August), Krept & Konan - with a Q&A hosted by Apple Music's Beats 1's Julie Adenuga (1 September) and Little Simz, who helps Caitlin Price close LFW on 17 September, and to buy from limited edition 'tour merch' collections, go to selfridges.com/recited
Text Hattie Collins
Photography Places + Faces