browns team up with artist andy leek for a campaign about messages of kindness

It's #cooltobekind.

by Lynette Nylander
15 February 2017, 9:15pm

A look at the news will tell you we are in state of flux. While politicians and world leaders seem intent on spreading hate, the good folks at Browns are using their London Fashion Week windows to put fashion to one side and send messages with good meaning out into the universe. The South Molton Street boutique has teamed up with Andy Leek, the artist behind Instagram account Notes To Strangers, who leaves posters around London spreading messages of positivity. From today, 39 messages will be the centrepiece of their windows for the next week, writing new and existing messages directly onto the windows of the store, with stickers of the posters being handed to London passers-by, in everyday reminders that it is #cooltobekind. 

Andy got involved in the campaign by way of an "out of the blue email from the Browns team," he explained exclusively to i-D. "It seemed we shared similar views on the importance of kindness. It's easy to forget that people are actually reading my posters, so it was a bit of a shock when they offered me this chance to reach a much wider audience. They wanted authentic art work and offered me the creative freedom to create it. I didn't have to think about it for very long before saying yes."

When asked why Andy uses his time to spread messages of hope to strangers, he replies, "I honestly get a heartwarming reaction most days. It's what keeps me going out into the cold night to wrestle with glue covered posters in the wind, ruining all of my coats. One that sticks out recently was a response to the poster 'not giving up is a skill'. Someone commented, 'Best one yet! I have a severe disability which means I'm in constant pain and often too ill to get out of bed. Often putting one foot in front of the other, metaphorically, feels like a challenge'… it's important anyone with a voice and a conscience use it to cultivate a more empathic society."

Read: To celebrate his second Tate retrospective, we asked Wolfgang Tillman's friends and collaborators - from Alex and Lutz to Frank Ocean - to ask him one question about his life and career.


Text Lynette Nylander

fashion news
Andy Leek
browns london
notes to strangers