Kongo is a graffiti artist who has traveled around the world to create his art. He co-founded the Festival International de Graffiti, in which artists worldwide are invited to tag the Bagnolet streets in the Parisian suburbs.
In one of the most incredible and innovative collaborations this year, Kongo moves from concrete to silk to work with renowned fashion house Hermès on a collection of scarves. Following in the footsteps of such partnerships as Takashi Murakami with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, today's brands known worldwide are pioneering a new appreciation for different mediums of artwork. Certainly graffiti artists seem to be having a growing influence; one example is the film Exit Through the Gift Shop, a visual portrayal that attempted to follow well-known street artist Banksy.
Certainly Kongo's work for Hermès is bound to set a new trend. The difference between the two art forms make it a surprising collaboration, but one that works well. Hermès has a long history as a luxury brand, catering to posh clientele. On the other hand, street artists don't generally come from wealthy families, and graffiti often covers abandoned or impoverished areas. (Of course, there are exceptions.) This difference in backgrounds results in an amazing - although surprising - set of products. The resulting scarves are enlivened by the contrast between the toughness of graffiti and the light femininity of a silk scarf. The prints may be hard to decode - after a long store, it was evident that the Hermès name was written four times in bold graffiti font - but they are unique and beautiful to look at. I can't remember ever seeing an accessory like this.
For your holiday season, consider a Kongo for Hermès scarf. Not only will you be adding a healthy dose of color to your life, which I strongly encourage, but your support for such a collaboration will only encourage more. I believe in the important of supporting artists such as Kongo, who work on different mediums than those considered the norm, because they are the future of art.
Images from usa.hermes.com
These scarves can be found on the Hermès website.