Vilebrequin and Deux Femmes Noires unite on artist-designed swimwear
Art meets swimwear in Vilebrequin’s latest collaboration with art publisher JRP Editions – a summertime collection designed by Deux Femmes Noires’ Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont
‘A different kind of art collection’ is how French swimwear label Vilebrequin describes its ongoing collaboration with art publisher JRP Editions, seeing various international artists put their own distinct stamp on the brand’s signature swimwear – from Sylvie Fleury to John M Armleder.
Arriving in time for summer, the latest iteration of ‘The Artists’ Edition’ project is with Deux Femme Noires, a creative platform founded by artist Mickalene Thomas and art consultant and collector Racquel Chevremont. Together, they have curated group shows including ‘The Aesthetics of Matter’ (2018) at Volta Art Fair, New York, and ‘Set It Off’ (2022) at Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, their practice centring on elevating the work of artists of colour, particularly women artists of colour.
Vilebrequin ‘The Artists’ Edition’ with Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont
First previewed as part of Untitled Art Fair in Miami, the collaborative collection sees Thomas and Chevremont look towards the vivid artistic output of the Harlem Renaissance for inspiration (the movement took place during the 1920s, whereby the New York neighbourhood become a cultural hub for Black creatives across mediums, from art and literature to music and nightlife). Here, this spirit is imagined in an array of collage-like prints derived from Thomas’ practice – whether motifs evocative of lips and eyes or clashing blocks of pattern and colour.
‘We meshed our perspectives to combine design and fashion with striking visual elements found within my artistic practice to exude joy,’ says Thomas of the collection, which spans men’s and womenswear – from swim- and beachwear, to bags and towels. ‘My hope is that the pieces make people feel good.’
Adds Chevremont: ‘Being able to combine visual elements that slip between playfulness and sensuality depending on the silhouette, along with Vilebrequin’s unparalleled craftsmanship, has made working on this collaboration a memorable experience. Ultimately, my hope is that this collection radiates joie de vivre.’
The collection arrives as part of Volume II of Vilebrequin’s collaboration with Switzerland-based JRP Editions, one of the most prominent publishers of contemporary art (since 2004, it has built up a catalogue of more than 500 titles). Curated by Lionel Bovier, director of MAMCO Geneva and Arnaud Hubert, CEO of JRP Editions, the collaboration was built on a desire to ‘bring together artists with radically different approaches, but who share an interest in how their work can migrate from the canvas or walls to textile’, says Bovier.
‘Bringing art to the beach has always been the dream,’ adds Vilebrequin CEO Roland Herlory. ‘We do not consider what we do to be art; we’re more focused on reproducing artists’ work as closely as possible to the original. With the know-how of Vilebrequin Studio and Ateliers, we are capable of delivering printing techniques that represent an original artwork’s unique colour and contrast.’
The Artists’ Editions by Vilebrequin and JRP|Editions is available at vilebrequin.com
Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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