Fashion and art have always been comfortable bedfellows. The list of collaborations between the two runs long—take for example the Kim Jones led initiative at Dior Men where every season features a new guest artist like KAWS and Hajime Sorayama, as well as Prada's successful run with artist Christophe Chemin.
While art always had a hand in influencing fashion, and there are times when fashion designers crossover into becoming an artist (a nod to Helmut Lang), there are few examples of an artist of making a foray into the realm of clothing design. This June, American born artist Sterling Ruby will be one of the few (and probably the biggest name in the art world) that will be taking that metaphorical leap from art to fashion, with the launch of his clothing line.
Titled S.R.STUDIO.LA.CA, the label will be carrying both men's and women's pieces and will make its debut at the upcoming menswear fair, Pitti Uomo.
While it might come as a surprise that Ruby is launching a fully fledged clothing label on his own, it's not completely unexpected considering his burgeoning profile in the fashion industry. Ruby's partnership and friendship with Raf Simons is a long-standing one that runs deeper than a one-off collaboration; he previously teamed up with Simons for the designer's first couture show for Dior, and then again for the highly successful Raf Simons fall/winter 2014 collection. But more than just an output of garments, Ruby also designed Simons's first store in Tokyo and played a huge part of Simons's vision during his tenure at Calvin Klein—designing the Calvin Klein New York flagship and creating installations for the brand's runway shows.
While we are familiar with Ruby's work when seen through the lens of Simons's design, what can we expect from S.R.STUDIO.LA.CA? Maybe it's best to hear it from the man himself.
"I’ve always been interested in the behavioural power that comes with clothing,” Ruby said in a press release. “For years I have been privately exploring garments as a medium, as something that impacts the way one can think, feel, and move. I couldn’t be more excited to finally put my clothing out into the world."
While the launch of Ruby's first fashion label is a recent development, perhaps the inception of that idea came right after the Raf Simons' fall/winter 2014 show, where he was quoted saying, “everybody was standing up, cheering. At that moment I thought, Fuck being an artist—this is wonderful.”
R.S.STUDIO.LA.CA will be presenting its spring/summer 2020 collection at Pitti Uomo.