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What to do with the numerous ideas and projects thrown off by the creative process — ones that might not always fit neatly into the category of “fashion”?
If you’re Jeff Halmos and Sam Shipley, you design a Web site to house them all.
Launching today on shipley-halmos.com is a collection of miscellaneous limited edition objects called Things, ranging from playing cards to tote bags, as well as an online store where they can be purchased. Visitors to the site will also find Shipley’s blog of daily drawings (“Numerous Drawings”); short films or video; books from publishing arm S&H Publishers, and an online gallery of past show invitations and other ephemera in addition to the Shipley & Halmos clothing collections. For now, the site will not sell apparel from the Shipley & Halmos line, although that may come later.
“This is a fun way for Sam and I to be creative and at the same time allow people who are fans of the brand to buy that creation, so to speak,” said Halmos.
Like the products, the look of the site is simple and spare, but quirky and whimsical. Surprises are dotted throughout, from an arresting still life on a product page, to humorous videos and animations. A collections page shows a grid of looks, each one its own little animated film, all playing at once. As confetti and flowers drop from the sky, models walk in and out of frames or raise high a balloon.
The site does not use Flash, so it will work on mobile devices.
Christmas shoppers in search of gifts will find plenty, such as a deck of playing cards in a pouch for traveling. The faces of the cards feature line drawings of a New York cast of creative characters, including Andy Warhol and Patti Smith, with Shipley and Halmos as the jokers. Some of the items are collaborations, such as the Moleskine notebook with a “Numerous Drawings” cover and a Philip Crangi enamel class ring. Prices range from $20 for a set of pencils to $395 for the ring.
New products, perhaps several dozen a year, will be added as they come out. Due in several months is a book of portraits from the tour the pair took to meet customers at Barneys New York and other stores around the country.
“We’ve been doing shows, but the public isn’t invited, so we switched gears and we’re doing a lot more projects that allow us to interact with and speak directly to the customer,” said Halmos. “We met hundreds of people on the trip.”
A do-it-yourself theme is apparent in the blank canvas of the tote bag, the pencils and the blank notebook. “You can buy the pencils and the notebook and go out and make the drawings yourself,” said Halmos. “That’s an important message we wanted Shipley & Halmos to stand for. When we started, we didn’t go to design school, and we’re still learning about clothing design. We said let’s make some clothes and let’s figure out how to do it.”