The Whitney Museum got a taste of the hypebeast crowd on Friday afternoon.
In collaboration with the museum’s Andy Warhol retrospective “Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again,” popular streetwear brand Advisory Board Crystals designed five limited-edition T-shirts. The shirts, made in runs of 100, are being released over a span of five months, but ABC founders Remington Guest and Heather Haber were in town Friday afternoon for the first drop, announced a few hours earlier on Instagram.
After paying for a shirt at the Whitney Shop at the Whitney Museum, customers are handed a receipt with a map on the back leading them to nearby cultural hub Fort Gansevoort, where they pick up the shirts.
“I actually love this on the bill, that’s kind of rad,” said Guest while inspecting the map. Like anyone buying a shirt, he was discovering the experience for the first time. (Guest and Haber, however, already had their shirts; number 1 and number 2 of the run, respectively; each one is hand-numbered.)
One hope of the collaboration is to attract a different crowd to The Whitney, people who may not otherwise think to visit the museum. It’s no coincidence that the drop was on a Friday, either, when the evening hours are pay-what-you-wish. (Case in point, on ABC’s Instagram post announcing the shirt, one user wrote “Already on the way. :) another reason for me to check out the Warhol Exhibit. ⚡”)
A few customers got more than just a new shirt and the experience, though; some fans got to run into the designers on their way there.
“What’s up? Dan,” said one customer, introducing himself to the pair en route. “Love what you guys do.”
“We also want to be a part of this because of the Andy Warhol exhibition; it’s pretty iconic and it’s cool to be a part of,” said Guest during the two-block walk from the museum. “Usually Andy Warhol feels really commercialized, but I thought this would bring it back to a context that we appreciate — just educating people about how he changed not just the art world, but kind of the world.”
“I went to art school and learned about Andy Warhol, but you can never learn about everything about him all at once,” Haber added. “When we discovered his work that was with camo paintings, we thought that was the perfect thing for us to be inspired by, because it was a rare series that he did that I didn’t even know about. And I feel like I saw all of his work.”
Similar to a series of a paintings or prints, each of the five ABC x Warhol shirts feature a different camo design, which the duo created in Los Angeles using the same process as Warhol did for his paintings.
“We screen-printed it, which was the same process. And we found out the process he did to make the camo, and we did the same thing, where we had to go to the surplus store and we took photos of different kinds of camos and we changed the colors, change a little bit and made it our own version,” Haber added. “We thought that was a cool parallel.”