A limited RTW collection from sacai x KAWS will launch this Friday, July 16, at Holt Renfrew, the collab marking a long-held mutual admiration and friendship between founder and designer Chitose Abe and contemporary artist KAWS. The concept of the collection is to reflect the original artwork and colour palette of KAWS art into sacai pieces as “wearable art” and, so, the range features multi-hued, camouflage and iconic patterns created by KAWS for both men’s and women’s wear and unisex items such as T-shirts and hoodies. Check out the Q&A with Chitose Abe below. —Noa Nichol
How did the Sacai x KAWS, aka artist Brian Donnelly, collaboration come about?
We had been looking for the right time to collaborate with each other for many years, and we just found that this is the right time.
You both do a lot of collaborations. How do you decide who you want to work with?
Sacai has worked on many collaborative projects, but we always try to have an equal relationship with our collaborators. Based on the mutual respect for each other’s work, we always seek the best balance so that one side doesn’t stand out more than the other.
What was the design process like? What were some of the exciting and challenging aspects of it?
When I was thinking about the best way to incorporate KAWS’ artwork into a Sacai collection, I wanted to express the idea of “wearable art”—as if people were wearing the artwork as it is. To prevent losing the impact of the artwork, I incorporated them into the Sacai pieces without changing the size of the art. To find the best balance, I tried different patterns over and over again, which was fun.
You’re both known for your ability to reinterpret and hybridize different styles to create something fresh and new—how did this influence how you worked together?
As a brand, we always have a desire to create unexpected silhouettes and new shapes. This time, rather than a simple collaboration, we were able to go one step further and express our collection through KAWS’ art pieces, which I think was a great outcome.