If you think all graphic t-shirts were created equal, brace yourself for what looks set to be one of our favourite collaborations this year: UNIQLO and KAWS.
UNIQLO, home to affordable basics, has long been a natural resource for this wardrobe staple.
The graphic t-shirt line, UT, was introduced in 2003 with A Bathing Ape founder Nigo at the helm. And it allowed UNIQLO to latch not only onto pop culture but also pop artistes like Pharrell Williams.
Of KAWS, unless you’re into designer vinyl toys and limited edition t-shirts, you may not have heard of him.
Born Brian Donnelly, the 42-year-old Brooklyn-based artist is embedded in the cultural zeitgeist. His works span exclusive art-toys, sculpture exhibitions and collaborative clothing (like A Bathing Ape) to limited edition Hennessy cognac, album cover art for Kanye West and, most recently, perfume bottle design for longtime-friend Pharrell Williams.
KAWS’ trademark cartoon is a figure evoking Mickey Mouse, bearing balloon feet and gloves, big-buttoned shorts and a clownish cross-boned skull with criss-cross eyes.
Nigo (left) and KAWS; photo: Uniqlo
Commenting on the new collaboration, KAWS says, “I have always enjoyed working in different medium, whether it be plastic toys, painting, bronze sculpture, or graphic design. UT is a cool canvas for making my artwork available to people virtually everywhere. It is great to be part of the amazing UT platform of my friend and fellow artist Nigo.”
Will we see a t-shirt version of the strangely compelling KAWS figures with sections cut away to reveal interior anatomy?
Or how about one starring Candice Swanepoel?
Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, UNIQLO has launched a microsite for the project – bookmark it and stay tuned for updates.
The UT KAWS line is now available at the Suntec City and online (www.uniqlo.com/sg) store. Here’s what to expect:
By: Kenneth Wee, photos courtesy of Uniqlo