Massimo Vitali, £35; available from selected Gap stores from Monday

The art and fashion worlds grow ever closer: the latest cross-pollination is an affordable collaboration between the conceptual tome ‘Visionaire’  and Gap. Alexander Fury reports

Neither the worlds of fashion nor art are traditionally viewed as democratic – pricing, for one, sizing another (size zero requirements for the former, and multiple thousand square feet the latter). However, the latest project from Gap aims to bring both to the masses via a collaboration with Visionaire.

The hyper-glossy “magazine” – note the inverted commas, as said publication has appeared in formats as varied as a lightbox and transparencies, a Louis Vuitton-bound portfolio of prints, or a sheaf of memos by legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland – was founded by Cecilia Dean, James Kaliardos and Stephen Gan in 1991 as a meeting-point between art and fashion. The latest incarnation of that – the final in a four-part partnership with Gap – is a series of classic t-shirts and sweatshirts printed with Visionaire imagery, from artists as varied as Steven Klein, Pierre et Gilles and the aforementioned Ms Vreeland.

 

“The collaboration with Visionaire is really an opportunity to work with a great portfolio of modern artists and fashion photographers and through the lens of Cecilia and James to bring something which is normally only for a very small audience to a broader audience,” says Rebekka Bay, creative director of Gap. She cites the collection of the Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher (comprising more than 1,100 works by 185 artists) as a source of inspiration in the label’s heritage for this collaboration, celebrating the brand’s 45th anniversary.

The range was launched this week as part of London’s Frieze art fair, with a special Gap installation celebrating the joint venture and allowing avid art and fashion fans to pre-order the pieces ahead of their launch in-store next week.

Visionaire itself – with prices for issues varying from around one hundred to several thousand pounds – is niche, in the extreme. The latest, created with conceptual artist John Baldessari, is an edition of just 1,500 worldwide, costing in the region of £200. The t-shirts themselves are in limited editions of 500 – but with 15 designs to choose from, there’s still a wide appeal.

“We never considered one-offs,” states Bay. “That would defy the purpose of the collaboration and everything that is important to us as a brand. Gap is and should always be for everyone.”

www.gap.co.uk

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