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NEW YORK — The Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren store in Greenwich Village will be undergoing a transformation, literally.
This story first appeared in the October 7, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Ralph Lauren Corp. said Friday that it will launch The Art Wall Project, an installation of large-scale outdoor artwork. The company will work with various emerging artists to transform the store’s facade into a work of art that celebrates the contemporary brand. The 4,000-square-foot store, the site of the former Rugby unit, is located at 99 University Place.
Beginning Oct. 23, the first installation will feature a design by the graffiti and street artist Hellbent. Over the course of several weeks, passersby can watch Hellbent live as he creates his exhibition. As the canvas refreshes with new artwork over the coming months, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren will create limited-edition products inspired by The Art Wall. One hundred percent of sales from these custom products, sold at the New York City store, will benefit students at the School of Visual Arts, where artists such as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Kaws got their start.
After graduating from art school and moving to Brooklyn, Hellbent began experimenting with a variety of media. Mixing folk elements with traditional art, Hellbent hand-carved plaques that he fastened to walls throughout New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Zurich, Glasgow and Paris. Since 2011, the backgrounds that started on plaques have become the focus of Hellbent’s work both on and off the street. His abstract configurations of multiple patterns layered on top of each other and often arranged in a quiltlike formation have become his signature. Working with vibrant colors and complex patterns, Hellbent has made large murals in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Los Angeles.
“Ralph Lauren has always been on the forefront of retail and digital innovation,” said David Lauren, executive vice president of global advertising, marketing and communications for Ralph Lauren Corp. “We pioneered using cyberspace and retail in creating unique customer experiences showcasing the world of Ralph Lauren; from the first ever 24-hour shoppable store windows to our 4-D light show, turning our flagship stores into a global social event. Now we are fusing art, fashion and technology to introduce our first-ever ‘Build Board,’ an entire building facade transformed into a unique interactive experience. The Art Wall Project is a large-scale collaborative project which combines public artwork, Denim & Supply branding, social media, product development and philanthropy, all part of what we like to call ‘merchantainment.’”
Launched in 2011, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren is sold at freestanding locations in New York, Boston, Europe and Asia, as well as Macy’s nationwide and denimandsupply.com.