Longtime Comme des Garçons communications executive Daphne Seybold has left her position to team up with renowned artist Dan Colen on his Sky High Farm brand project.
Seybold, who worked for CDG for 15 years, was most recently its head of communications and marketing for Comme des Garçons U.S. and Dover Street Market U.S. She signs on to Sky High Farm as its co-chief executive officer and chief marketing officer, after serving as a founding member and treasurer on the organization’s 501(c)(3) board.
Sky High Farm, founded by Gagosian-represented Colen in upstate New York, is a non-profit agricultural entity that donates its produce and meat yields to marginalized communities that lack ready access to fresh, nutritious food. Located in the town of Ancramdale, the farm provides food to local pantries including North East Community Center, Willow Roots, Long Table Harvest, Sweet Freedom, and the Food Bank for New York City.
In February, Colen and his collaborators launched Sky High Farm Workwear — a clothing line of tangible products that fund his non-profit’s operations. The brand — with its charming insignia and primary visual language drawn by illustrator Joana Avillez — is in a strategic partnership with Dover Street Market Paris, which helps produce, sell and distribute the label as part of its larger incubator program.
Sky High Farm has been selling one-off items and other ephemera through Dover Street Market New York and Los Angeles since 2019, with 100 percent of proceeds donated back to the farm. It was only in February, however, that the proper Sky High Farm Workwear brand launched with approximately 40 luxury retail partners, including Dover Street Market global locations, Ssense and Nordstrom.
The brand’s launch collection includes sweaters, carpenter jeans, T-Shirts and soft accessories that bare Avillez’s witty drawings, many of which play back to the notion of a clean and equitable food source. Prices range from about $40 for socks up to $890 for a denim chore coat.
“We realized an opportunity for something in the for-profit space to exist — not only to fundraise — but to pull on the levers of fashion, art and design so that anyone who buys a product automatically becomes a donor. There is a storytelling angle to it that makes it easier for people to engage with something tangible,” said Seybold of the brand launch, which operates as an entity separate from the farm non-profit.
Seybold will help create a larger business framework for Sky High Farm Workwear, while also exploring new product categories for the brand and its wider Sky High Farm Universe company which could soon include food, beverage and hospitality offshoots. “It seems like a natural fit for us,” Seybold said of those endeavors. The CDG veteran will also oversee all of the company’s communications and marketing functions.
“[Dan] looks after all the creative elements, not just visuals and campaigns but we are talking about creating new opportunities for funding to make a well-rounded business. I’m coming in to handle all the framework and structure with oversight of the business as well as the marketing and communications items that would typically fall under a job like I had,” said Seybold.