art form that was not recognized as "art" until more recent
years, has made its mark on the fashion world. From the gritty
streets of various cities worldwide to embellishing high-priced
Louis Vuitton apparel, graffiti has certainly
evolved. Once considered an act of vandalism, graffiti has now
been accepted as an art form that is displayed in galleries and
art exhibits worldwide.
Search believes there are a handful of
fashion brands that have pioneered the graffiti movement.
Among them is Marc Ecko. We all remember when Ecko won a court
battle with New
York City when he set out to launch a graffiti fest in
New York City several years ago. Ecko, who built a successful
apparel company that was founded in 1993, began with just six
t-shirts and a can of spray paint. His empire now has
approximately six brands under its fashion umbrella, and
includes a range of fashions from contemporary styles to
t-shirts, denim, fleece, and beyond.
destination Kidrobot, which was founded by designer Paul Budnitz
in 2002, also incorporates graffiti in its design. Budnitz
started his first business, M.O.B., while still in college,
selling clothing that he co-designed to museum stores worldwide.
This business venture soon evolved into collecting, selling, and
modifying vintage Levis and other wearable cultural artifacts,
such as classic Air Jordans (which Budnitz sold in
as much as $16,000 a pair).
represents a fusion of urban street trends, fashion, and pop art
to produce limited edition collectible toys and apparel. Its
products are the result of unique collaborations with top
artists from diverse backgrounds, which range from
graffiti to fine art, fashion, industrial design, graphic
design, illustration, and music. In fact, in 2007 The
Museum of Modern Art acquired 13 Kidrobot toys to exhibit
in its "Just In: Recent Acquisitions from the Collection"
graffiti artist Erni Vales of New York City also artfully mixed
a bit of creative inspiration with some paint and moved into the
fashion category. His fashion resume includes the design of
limited-edition handbags for Aleya NY, and will soon include a
line of t-shirts that will sell under the Evl brand.
A wide range
of artists' work also
embellishes t-shirts and hats by MethodsNYC Clothing. Some
of the vibrant designs are clearly influenced by the graffiti
world while others reflect more of a graphic design sensibility.
Apparel Search believes the fashion category will continue to
draw inspiration from the world of art whether its graffiti,
fine art, or another design aesthetic.