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News Articles

The latest creative industry news from various different publications and sources


10 Latest news articles


Vans x Murakami

Source: Creative Review | Published: Monday 29th of June 2015 03:49:00 PM

Vans has collaborated with artist Takashi Murakami on a range of t-shirts, skate decks, surf boards and shoes for its premium Vault by Vans label. We spoke to Vans' VP of merchandising and design, Steve Mills, about the partnership, and how collaborating with artists and fashion labels has helped transform perceptions of its classic shoes.

On a sunny afternoon in Paris last weekend, Takashi Murakami, dressed in a magnificent skull-shaped hat, unveiled a new range of clothing and footwear for US brand Vans. T-shirts, shoes, surfboards and skate decks in his colourful floral and skull prints went on sale in 40 stores around the world on Saturday morning, and most were sold out of their stock within a couple of hours.

The collection is the latest in a long list of commercial partnerships from Murakami. He has applied his superflat designs to everything from Citizen watches and Issey Mayake clothing to a vast (and hugely successful) range of products for Louis Vuitton. As well as hosting solo exhibitions in some of the world's most prestigious galleries, and making art that sells for seven-figure sums, he creates toys and merchandise for almost every price point at his Kaikai Kiki factory, which now employs over 100 people. He has also worked on an animated music video with Pharrell Williams, album art for Kanye West and an animated feature film, Jellyfish Eyes, released in 2013.

Murakami's collaboration with Vans came about when he expressed a desire to work with the brand in an interview with Vanity Fair (he says has worn its canvas slip-ons every day for 15 years, and is fascinated by skating and surfing). After reading the article, Vans' VP of global design and merchandising, Steve Mills, flew to Japan to visit him, and the pair started working on the product line 18 months ago. "I've been a fan of Takashi since the mid 1990s. We had had conversations about working with him before, but for some reason, it had never come to fruition," says Mills.

The collection is one of a series of collaborations between Vans and contemporary artists through its Vault imprint, launched in 2003. As Mills explained to CR at the Paris launch event, the premium label was set up to help boost sales of its classics range and compete with limited edition collections from the likes of Nike and Adidas ("we wanted to come at it from a surf and skating angle," he said), but has since taken on a life of its own.

The project started out small, with lines sold at a few "hand-picked" retailers, but is now stocked in 40 outlets from California skate stores to branches of Dover Street Market, Barney's and Opening Ceremony. Past collections include collaborations with Kenzo and Simpsons artist Matt Groening, as well as street artist Ron English, and ranges featuring Star Wars, Peanuts and Disney prints.

"At the time we launched Vault, it was difficult convincing people to love Vans, and that we could compete in the upper echelons of the expensive sneaker business. We were known for $45, $50 canvas and suede shoes," Mills explains.

"When we first wrote the business plan for this, it was more about kick-starting our classics business, because at the time, we couldn't give them away," he adds. "It was really to get people saying, "Oh I remember that shoe", and go back to buying what they grew up with as kids, and now, what was started to help get that business going has become its own little animal."

Recruiting a mix of fashion designers, fine artists, street artists and franchises with a cult following has been key to the project's success, and Mills says the brand is selective about who it works with.  Read More»

A6 Notebook

Source: Creative Review | Published: Monday 29th of June 2015 07:03:00 PM

A6 is a measurement of paper size. The A6 is a road which runs for over 300 miles from Luton to Carlisle in England. Creative partnership Asbury & Asbury has brought the two together in the form of a notebook, its first product in a new series of items dedicated to the British A-roads...

From The Canterbury Tales to Jack Kerouac and Will Self's musings on the British motorway, travelling by road is closely linked to creativity and inspiration.

But Britain's A-roads have perhaps been rather overlooked in this regard, supplanted from their position as the country's main arterial links when the high-speed motorways came along. The very first A-roads ? A1 through to A6 ? radiated out of London (in a clockwise direction),  Read More»

Zio Ziegler mural marks 70th anniversary of UN charter

Source: Creative Review | Published: Friday 26th of June 2015 04:05:00 PM

Images by Sorell Tsui, courtesy of UN Dispatch

Artist Zio Ziegler has painted a 135-foot mural in Oakland, California to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Charter, which was signed in the state 70 years ago today.

Ziegler spent three days painting the mural, which covers one side of the 26-storey, flatiron-shaped Cathedral building in the West Coast port city. The artwork is designed to reflect the ideals of the UN and its 17 sustainable development goals, a  Read More»

Cannes Lions 2015: The winners and some reflections

Source: Creative Review | Published: Sunday 28th of June 2015 11:05:00 AM

Well it's all over for Cannes Lions for another year. The juries have deliberated, an unspeakable amount of ros  Read More»

Is Apple redefining luxury?

Source: Creative Review | Published: Thursday 2nd of July 2015 10:26:00 AM

Apple's World Gallery iPhone 6 campaign, which won a Grand Prix at Cannes, is part of a wider strategy to shift the brand towards luxury ? a new kind of luxury, writes Artomatic's Tim Milne

  Read More»

Confusion at Cannes

Source: Creative Review | Published: Wednesday 1st of July 2015 12:52:00 PM

Judging the Cannes Lions Promo & Activation category. Image: Cannes Lions

  Read More»

Provocative ad campaign to raise awareness of US hunger

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 30th of June 2015 07:20:00 PM

BBH New York has created a striking new ad campaign that aims to tackle the issue of hunger in the US. It uses a series of spoof PSAs where countries such as China, Slovenia and Germany ? all of which have better statistics regarding access to food than the US ? appear to be offering to help America with its problem...

The campaign promotes Great Nations Eat (greatnationseat.org), a movement that brings together non-profits, filmmakers, media companies and others to raise awareness about hunger and inequality in the US.

Released to coincide with the July 4th Independence Day holiday, the ads, shown below, rather puncture the pride with which America typically holds itself. The spots recreate the familiar charity ads that encourage Americans to donate money to starving children overseas but with the twist that the kids featured here are actually US citizens.

  Read More»

New illustration: Wong Ping, Tom Cole, Owen Davey, Joe Morse, Jean Jullien & more

Source: Creative Review | Published: Tuesday 30th of June 2015 11:42:00 AM

Our latest pick of new illustration includes an animated campaign for Prada sunglasses, some large-scale murals for Fuller's beer, a beautifully illustrated book about monkeys by Owen Davey and a new edition of Toni Morrison's Beloved novel from The Folio Society.

Prada Raw Avenue

Judith Van Den Hoek (above) and Wong Ping (top)

Production company Acne partnered with The Mill and Milan creative agency April to create Prada Raw Avenue, a charming animated digital campaign for Prada to promote the brand's new range of sunglasses.

Six illustrators (Carly Kuhn, Megan Hess, Blair Breitenstein, Judith Van Den Hoek, Wong Ping and Vilda Vega) were asked to create a series of scenes featuring Prada eyewear and clothing, with illustrations then made into short flip book-style animations.

The resulting films were posted on Instagram and the Prada Raw website, and feature a lovely mix of hand painted and digital artwork, from Ping's bright and surreal designs to Kuhn's more traditional pen and ink drawings.

Vilda Vega

Blair Breitenstein

Megan Hess

Vilda Vega

  Read More»


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