The Chic Library x SheOne Part 2

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RECAP OF PART 1:

In my first article about SheOne I talked about how two years ago in Barcelona I received a piece of SheOne’s artwork from the founder of Wilde Sunglasses which started me down the path to creating this bag. A year later, I made arrangements to meet SheOne in Barcelona for the first time to tour his studio and purchase some original pieces from him. When I met him, I loved his energy, style, and love of fashion so, I contacted him again a couple of months after our first meeting to see if he would be interested in doing a collaboration together. He agreed and this past June, I purchased a Vintage Double Alize Louis Vuitton Travel Bag at the flea market in Paris to be his new canvas. I just returned from Spain with the finished piece and so, in this article I will walk you through more of the backstory behind why I wanted to create this piece, give you a first look at how it came out and, explain why it has a lot to do with the future of The Chic Library.

BACKSTORY:

Before we get to discussing the new and final piece, I wanted to give a little backstory about how I came to love street art and why I think this collaboration is so important.

I have always loved fashion, but street art was something I didn’t know much about growing up in Texas. My husband always loved street art and designer vinyl toys from companies like Kidrobot. He was always looking for new pieces to add to his collection and started collecting David Flores’s DeathHeads and quickly became an avid DeathHead collector. I liked the DeathHeads and became interested in David’s stained glass mural style of painting. But then, as with most artists you fall in love with, he painted a famous Chanel portrait in his stained glass style on the side of a building in Beverly Hills and I was hooked. We immediately contacted David to see if I could just purchase a print of the mural of Chanel. He agreed but, he went even further than just producing a print and he hand-embellished the print just for me. When I received the piece I was blown away and knew instantly this would not be the last piece I would add to our collection from a street artist. Our love of street art only deepened as we made regular trips to the street art centers of the world like LA, Shoreditch London, Wynwood in Miami, and Paris just to hunt for street art of our favorite artists and to find new artists. Luckily, as our collection has grown we have met and maintained relationships with many street artists including David Flores, SheOne, and Tristan Eaton just to name a few. With all these connections and my love of fashion, this is what got me thinking of intertwining the two art forms.

STREET ART AND LUXURY BRANDS:

A few luxury brands have tried to meld art and fashion together but 90% of the time it is either pop art or tagging and not real street art. The collaborations of fashionable art by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton included Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse, Richard Price, and Yayoi Kusama. And this Fall saw the launch of the Gucci X Ghost Collection by Alessandro Michele and Trevor Andrew (AKA Ghost). I never felt like the resulting work captured the potential of what could be done when you let a street artist work with one of these iconic brands. The final pieces usually were more about fine art like with Murakami or tagging /graffiti writing like with the recent work from Gucci and Ghost.

The Chic Library X SheOne Collaboration was meant to be a lot more than just a “cool bag”, it was meant to be a proof of concept. I wanted to create proof of the untapped potential of having a street artist turn a piece from one of these luxury brands into a real piece of art that could show off the artists work and still preserve the luxury brands integrity. I also wanted to show that the resulting piece could be more than a precious collectible that would sit on a pedestal never to be used. With my SheOne bag, I wanted to prove that I could create real usable art and so, my bag isn’t sitting on a pedestal in our house because I’m using it every time I travel, as my carry-on bag. But, all of this was just an interesting idea until I could make this collaboration real and I could not grasp what I was in for when I went to pick up the bag a week ago in Barcelona.

THE COLLABORATION REVEAL:

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So, I was back in Barcelona for Thanksgiving to finally pick up The Chic Library X SheOne collaboration Louis Vuitton Bag. I was uncontrollably excited to say the least when my husband and I arrived at his studio and home. I always love his space as it’s a large open loft with beautiful views of the city and as always, we were welcomed in by SheOne and his two beautiful Greyhounds. After sitting down for an aperitif and some small talk, SheOne smiled and asked, “Do you want to see your bag?”. Of course, I said, “YES!” I proceeded to get up from the kitchen table and walked into his studio marked with a small “Black Atelier” sign on the door. Sitting in a corner was a chair draped with the Union Jack flag and our collaboration sitting on top. The Vintage Double Alize Bag from Louis Vuitton had been transformed with large white painted dots, abstract strokes in black paint, and the famous signature “SheOne” painted in black on the side. I was speechless and elated all at the same time as SheOne had done exactly like I thought he would and turned this every day Louis Vuitton travel bag into exactly what I wanted, a work of art that had a story and a soul. I am truly honored to be able to carry this stunning piece of art on all my travels. A huge “Thank You” to SheOne for turning the every day into art. You can see some photos of the bag here in the article and I will be posting more on Instagram this week.

FUTURE COLLABORATIONS:

This is just the first of many collaborations I hope to be a part of with art and fashion. I would love to be able to take on as many as I can and have The Chic Library not just be about identifying trends and sharing emerging designers that I come across in my travels and research. I know some projects may work and some might not but, I want to try as many as I can because you don’t see other people doing collaborations like the one I did with SheOne. This work inspired both of us as I was able to prove out my idea that this is an untapped area of fashion and even SheOne was inspired as he used parts of the stencil he used to create my bag in other pieces he will be debuting soon. I am going to keep hunting down new trends in fashion, emerging designers and, you never know what collaboration I will be doing next but I can guarantee you it will always be Chic.