Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman

GIVING ARTISTIC LICENSE: Mental health and well-being remain priorities during the ongoing pandemic and Zadig & Voltaire has teamed with the L.A. Dance Project, since dance and movement are known to enhance mental health in a positive way.

Their efforts are the latest installation of the “Art Is Hope,” an ongoing campaign dedicated to raising awareness about mental health. L.A. Dance Project’s founder and artistic director Benjamin Millepied has helped create content, as have dancers and choreographers from the troupe, which will be showcased on Zadig & Voltaire’s social media channels.

Two custom $118 T-shirts designed for the dance project have been introduced. They feature illustrations by the brand’s artist in residence Jormi Graterol, who is known as the Venezuelan street artist “The Graffiti Queen.” All proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts and the Jormi x Art Is Hope line will benefit the LADP to create and develop new work. The venture runs through April 3 and there also will be an Instagram dance lesson on July 16 with David Freeland, among other special offerings. There will also be exclusive items in Zadig & Voltaire stores, including a handbag painted by Graterol for customers to bid on.

Zadig & Voltaire supported Millepeid’s photography exhibition at the Kyotographie International Photography Festival in Kyoto in December. He and Zadig & Voltaire’s artistic director Cecilia Bronstrom kept the conversation going and agreed to collaborate again, according to a company spokeswoman. The brand’s chief executive officer subsequently joined the dance project’s board. After COVID-19 began to hit the world, Zadig & Voltaire and LADP agreed to team up again.

The dance group has been trying to introduce more people to the world of dance and movement virtually, while millions are staying closer to home. Some of the LADP’s performers struggle with mental health issues and they use dance to help them cope and express themselves, a Zadig & Voltaire spokeswoman said.