LOS ANGELES — Premium denim brand Citizens of Humanity is giving a twist to T-shirts through a collaboration with artist Will Lemon.
The Huntington Park, Calif.-based company is sprucing up tanks, short-sleeve Ts, tunics and three other women’s spring styles with Lemon’s technique of blending screen-printing with hand-painting. A tank top pops in a blue snakeskin print mottled with what resembles neon oil spills, a gray scoop-neck T-shirt is enlivened with a bold splash of azure and ruby raindrops fall all over a yellow tank dress. All will retail for approximately $135.
“I envisioned an outdoor scene and I first saw a snake sunbathing in a field of tall, verdant grass,” said Lemon, whose previous fashion collaborations were with Marc Jacobs and MAC. “I also imagined a small stream with a slight waterfall nearby and these first three images that were there in my mind became the metaphors for the prints that eventually ended up on the T-shirts.”
Cut from a soft, light cotton knit, the pieces are also washed and dyed by hand at Citizens of Humanity’s laundry.
“The collaboration with Will is a highlight of the special things that we can do,” said Adriano Goldschmied, executive vice president of design at Citizens of Humanity, which also owns his denim brand GoldSign. “We own already a lot of technology and know-how that we can apply to our T-shirt. We own our own dye house and laundry. Our goal is to make something different.”
Choosing to collaborate with Lemon helps Citizens of Humanity differentiate itself from competitors in a challenging economy as it seeks to expand its jeans business with complementary categories such as T-shirts. Goldschmied said the company is also considering applying Lemon’s screen-painting technique to jeans and men’s T-shirts.
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