The ties between the art and fashion worlds grow ever stronger, and the latest link is Flore’s project to paint denim bomber jackets for Eunice Kim’s contemporary brand Here/Now.
Kim, a 30-year-old fashion entrepreneur from Los Angeles who skipped design school to launch her company a year ago in New York, is weaving her love of art and denim into a collaboration that also allows her to relive a favorite memory from her childhood. The nostalgia stems from a tiny denim bomber jacket painted with a robot on the back, which her father found in a boutique in Paris for his then two-year-old. Having attended Art Basel in Miami Beach for the past couple of years, she met Flore through her friend, artist Bradley Theodore, who suggested the Miami-based artist with a bold, graphic style as a potential partner for her very first partnership with a painter. Reminiscing about the drawing that captivated her child’s eyes, she said, “His art and the way he paints kind of blend really well with the original.”
The 25 bomber jackets that Flore painted also meld with Here/Now’s strategy to move into sportswear for the first time. Over the last year, it’s been gaining momentum for its sneakers adorned with pom poms and embroidery, which are sold at Barneys New York and Nordstrom. For the third release from the emerging brand, which has sales of less than $500,000, it offers half a dozen jackets, including oversize shearling cover-ups, long denim coats and boxy jean jackets lined with raccoon fur. Priced from $240 to $740, all the clothing and shoes are made in Seoul.
At $2,500, designed with a Nineties-tinged denim back and leather sleeves and hood, the bombers painted by Flore are the most expensive. “I didn’t want to undervalue the fact that he hand-painted these guys,” Kim said. Besides, it could be considered a bargain since artwork by Flore, né Christopher Florentino, usually goes for $15,000.
Flore’s first foray into working in the fashion world with Here/Now follows a pattern set by Damien Hirst with Levi’s, Rob Pruitt with J Brand, Ornamental Conifer with Lucky Brand and Blanda Eggenschwiler with Citizens of Humanity.
“I know there is an interest out there for artists who want to transcend their typical canvases and typical mediums and go somewhere that is more accessible for everyone,” Kim said.
Not only will the project with Flore help Here/Now to grow — Kim will add Bergdorf Goodman as a stockist for her shoes in February, but she’ll have a chance to shine a light on her brand’s personality and raise its profile.
“Through this we’re able to share who we are with a larger audience,” she said. “People in the arts have started to reach out to us.”