SUMMER BREAK: Maybe it’s the compact Providence campus or the design-centric curriculum, but Rhode Island School of Design alumni tend to be pretty connected.
While Shepard Fairey, Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia, The Talking Heads’ David Byrne, artist Dale Chihuly and fashion designer Nicole Miller are among the more recognizable former RISD students, two lesser-known ones have joined forces for an artistic collaboration. Jessica Walsh, cofounder of Sagmeister & Walsh, and Jessica Schulz, cofounder of Kore Swim, have teamed up nearly 15 years after they met as college freshmen living on the same floor of their dorm.
Together they have created a limited-run swimwear and beach accessories collection under the Kore Swim x Sagmeister & Walsh label. The Seventies-inspired collection has taupe, orange and printed options, and is meant to relay a bohemian feel. Shoppers can preorder the swimwear as of today and it will be available to ship on June 1.
Sagmeister & Walsh’s influence can be seen in two prints designed exclusively for the collection — a burnt orange and off-white striped one and a multicolored floral pattern that isn’t quite what it appears. On closer inspection, the latter, Flora & Fauna, has images of rats, spiders and cockroaches mixed into the colorful print. Cap-sleeved tie-front bikini tops, printed bikini bottoms, cutout maillots, tote bags and a lightweight long “swim robe” are among the options. Neutral-colored styles are also available in velvet textures, reminiscent of the decade.
While Walsh’s work has been featured in campaigns for Barneys New York, Snapchat and other companies, this marks her first fashion collaboration. She said, “I have always been drawn to the timeless look and laid-back vibe of the Seventies. When I think of clothing from this era, I am drawn to its simple cuts and retro patterns, which is exactly what we aimed for in this collaboration.”
Retail prices range from $135 to $145 for bikini separates and $262 for the maillots and “Frida” robe. Walsh has a built-in audience beyond her 397,000 Instagram followers. She also started the monthly conversation series “Ladies, Wine and Design,” which is in 160 cities worldwide.
This is RISD’s second collaboration this week. Joana Avillez and Molly Young just released a book of illustrated puzzles “D-C-T!”
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