DEAR VINCENT: Vincent van Gogh wasn’t known for his fascination with fashion, but that hasn’t deterred the Van Gogh Museum from tapping IMG as its licensing representative for North and South America, the Middle East, Africa, China and parts of Europe to explore developing consumer product categories based around the artist’s works.
IMG plans to work with the museum to introduce “Irises,” “Sunflowers,” “Almond Blossoms” and some of van Gogh’s self-portraits to new platforms through cross-category brand partnerships and collaborations. Fashion apparel, accessories, cosmetics, home decor, fine stationery, gifts, consumer electronics, kitchen appliances and collectibles are among the categories being explored.
Van Gogh has been a source of inspiration for many fashion designers through the years, including Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, Versace and Jeremy Scott for Moschino. The museum has collaborated with Vans and other brands in recent years. Earlier this year, the Van Gogh Museum collaborated with The Daily Paper to develop an apparel collection as part of the Van Gogh Connects Program.
Working with IMG, the Van Gogh Museum hopes to inspire people with stories about the artist and to show them there might be a link between him and their personal lives, according to Laurine van Rooijen, the museum’s head of licensing and wholesale. “This contributes to our mission to make van Gogh’s life and work accessible to as diverse a group of people as possible, to enrich and to inspire them,” she said, adding that it helps to preserve his heritage for future generations.
The museum will reopen to the public on June 1, and very few tickets are being sold online to abide by social distancing. For those unable to travel or wary of a second wave of COVID-19, the museum offers an online tour, virtual access to some of van Gogh’s letters as well as other activities such as coloring on its site.