NEW YORK — Come spring, Echo Design might have a new retail hot spot: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The accessories company has enlisted artist Hunt Slonem to collaborate on a limited-edition collection of scarves and tote bags, due out in January.
“We’ve always wanted to have artist collaborations,” said Lynn Roberts, vice president of communications at Echo Design. “The moment you walk into Hunt’s studio, it is just so incredibly inspiring. We recognized tremendous synergies with the type of art that he creates and the type of prints that we’ve used in our history.”
For the brand’s first artist series, the Echo Design creative team looked to Slonem’s most iconic works for inspiration. “Our creative director went to his studio and saw his art hanging everywhere,” said Roberts. “She chose some of his most beautiful and iconic paintings to turn into textile art. We brought our choices to Hunt, and he immediately approved. Our design team then found the perfect fabrics to show and bring out the rich fabrics in his art and bring the vibrancy of the artwork to the market. When you see his paintings, they are so alive and vibrant. There is an energy to them.”
The result is a small collection consisting of six different scarf designs, each depicting a piece of Slonem’s art, as well as one tote bag. While the collaboration is a new endeavor for the brand, Roberts ensures that the project is very much in tune with Echo Design’s existing aesthetic. “We both derive inspiration from nature and are passionate about beautiful color,” she explained. Nature and color are very much buzzwords of the collaboration, with Slonem’s sketches and paintings of bunnies, butterflies and birds appearing in vibrant hues, done in variations of silk, rayon and Lurex.
Slonem, whose career spans more than four decades, was pleased with the results of his first foray into fashion. “If it doesn’t happen during your lifetime, it will happen after you are dead, so I might as well enjoy it while I’m alive,” he said of the fashion-art connection. “Its something I’ve always been interested in doing. Echo Design has a very effective team, and it was a very quick process. There was nothing I didn’t like.”
Today, Slonem’s paintings hang in more than 50 museums worldwide, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, and the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Roberts hopes that Slonem’s art-world appeal will usher in a new customer for the brand. To do so, Echo Design has reached out to museums and galleries to carry the line, in addition to the brand’s existing retailers.
The collection will make its debut in early 2015, with price points ranging from $48 to $148. Following the initial spring delivery, Echo Design will collaborate with Slonem for summer and fall 2015. “There are a million possibilities,” Slonem said when asked what was to come. “I paint daily.”
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.