Milan Vukmirovic loves toys and he’s not afraid to show it.
The creative director of Ports 1961 has teamed up for the second time with Hong Kong artist Michael Lau to create a special toy inspired by his collection.
The first figure, a skater, was released in Hong Kong in May 2015. The latest iteration is a surfer, which Lau imagined as a 9 foot-tall figure that is on display in the Ports 1961 Meatpacking District store. The surfer dude features key themes of Vukmirovic’s spring collection including a star camo print, #followme, and Navajo embroidery motifs. The figure was unveiled last week and will remain on view through the middle of July.
“I definitely believe in the power of collaboration as it keeps a brand alive and open-minded,” Vukmirovic told WWD. “Collaborating with Michael Lau was a dream come true. I was always a huge fan of Michael and a collector of his toys. He is an icon and one of the best, if not the best, toy designer of the last decades. His work is inspired by street culture, hip-hop and sports, like basketball and skateboarding — all elements I am putting into the collections I design for Ports 1961.”
He said that as creative director of the brand his work is “not only to design clothes, but to create a complete lifestyle for the Ports 1961 man.” He has drawn from his experience as a designer for Jil Sander, Gucci and Trussardi as well as his work with retailers including Colette Paris, The Webster Miami and My Boon Seoul.
He said the figures designed by Lau “are part of the world of products we are offering in our stores, which also includes skateboards, surfboards, sneakers, leathergoods, magazines and candles. It brings the store experience for a mono brand to another level.”
“We also have developed and sold a limited ready-to-wear capsule collection inspired by Michael’s toys that includes a military jacket, T-shirts and small leather goods, and is distributed worldwide to exclusive retailers.”
The third and final figure in the series with Lau will be revealed in early 2017. Vukmirovic has also collaborated with skateboard artist Tony Alva on exclusive skateboards last year.