The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has announced a new collaboration with the Dutch fashion brand, Daily Paper. The hip streetwear brand was originally a fashion blog that has since evolved into a cult fashion brand in its own right. Visitors to the Dutch city will spot their garments being worn by just about every teenager and young adult in some form or other. Perhaps understandably, therefore, the gallery’s decision-makers and the team that run Daily Paper have hit upon the idea of a collaboration where fashion and art can come together harmoniously. The concept is to harness each other’s strengths to create a capsule collection consisting of 21 pieces.
Interestingly, it was the Van Gogh Museum which made first contact with Daily Paper about the proposal. According to press reports in the Netherlands, the museum’s curators were attracted by Daily Paper’s undoubted ability to connect with the youth of Amsterdam regardless of cultural roots and ethnicity. For their part, the trio of bloggers and designers who founded Daily Paper – Abderrahmane Trabsini, Jefferson Osei and Hussein Suleiman – said they were drawn to the idea because of the life story of Van Gogh himself. Like them, they recognised, the celebrated artist had received no formal training, merely a passion for the artworks he created.
Image: Van Gogh Collection from Daily Paper
Osei said that during his time at school, he had been made aware of Van Gogh’s most famous pieces. “We didn’t really learn about him as a person though,” he said. “However, when we were working on this collaboration, we gained more insight into Van Gogh and [that meant we were]… really able to resonate with him as a person.” According to the trio of young businessmen, they enjoyed the fact that, like Van Gogh, they were all self-taught and came from humble backgrounds. “That really made us think that we could relate to him and [therefore establish ways]… to incorporate his artworks into our collection.”
The collaboration saw Daily Paper come up with new clothing ideas for Art Basel – the international art fair which is staged each year in Basel, Switzerland and Miami Beach, Florida – where the collection was launched. The work is part of the Van Gogh Museum’s wider public engagement programme known as Van Gogh Connects. Inspired by some of the painter’s most famous works of art – as well as some lesser-known ones – the three designers at Daily Paper came up with multiple items of clothing Some featured post-impressionist irises and pastoral scenes. Others featured paintings like ‘The Potato Eater’s and ‘Wheatfield with a Reaper’. They were all given the Daily Paper treatment to appear on stylishly designed fashion garments. Overall, the images featured on casual items of clothing, typical of Daily Paper’s style, such as denim jackets, hoodies, T-shirts and even pairs of trousers.
Image: Daily Paper
Speaking for Daily Paper, Suleiman said that one of the things that had attracted him to the collaboration was that it would mean young people would become more interested in the work of the museum. This, he claimed, was because it would be seen as part of the same community that is engaged with fashion. “I think it is a bit different from what the Van Gogh Museum normally does,” he said. “We’ve been making clothes for years, so this is something that allows us to show a different side of us, too,” he added. Suleiman pointed out that Daily Paper primarily focusses on our African culture so the shift to something so different meant that the collaboration pushed the boundaries for both parties.
Trabsini, the other founding member of Daily Paper, said that he felt as though it were a personal honour to work with a Dutch legend like Van Gogh. “Everybody in the world knows about him,” he said. “A lot of kids don’t want to learn about art history,” he continued. “However, if you put a twist on it and include something they care about, then they will take the time to engage with it.”
The museum have previously collaborated with brands including Vans, Monopoly and Samsonite.
About the author – Manuel Charr
Manuel Charr is a journalist working in the arts and cultural sectors. With a background in marketing, Manuel is drawn to arts organizations which are prepared to try inventive ways to reach new audiences.