In July of 2021, Claire Pardington went out to New York City to line up all the partners needed to start this brand, including finding an artist to collaborate with for her first collection. Covid had devastated the Bowery where many galleries with local and up and coming artists would show off their work. She was pretty concerned that finding an artists, especially the right artist, would be much more difficult that anything else she anticipated. One night, while strolling the Bowery after visiting The New Museum, she was beginning to feel dread about the whole situation. She had so many ideas but needed the right fine artist to help her execute them, as well as expand on the brands collaborative concept. Almost as if the universe heard her call, she looked up and was standing in front of one of the only open galleries on the Bowery- and they just happen to be having their opening night with the artists inside to discuss their works. Typically these nights are by invite only, however, as Claire was peeking inside trying to get an idea the type of artwork the gallery had, the owner happened to step out for a cigarette and asked me if I would like to come in to see the new works showcased on their walls. Once Claire walked in, she was greeted by mostly graphic and pop works of art- none of which she was interested in. Starting to feel that sense of dread again, she walked all the way towards the back of the gallery, where 5 huge pieces of artwork immediately caught her eye. Within seconds she knew this was her artist! The artwork was sophisticated, emotional, textural, and complex. It was emotional and she could tell exactly what the artist was feeling when she painted it. Immediately she sought out the artist in the room and told her of her idea and how she would like to collaborate. As they say, the rest is history!
Designing something that could be considered artwork inside of a blazer is no easy feat. There are the seams to consider, the size gradations, and how to keep the piece feeling like one consistent piece of art in the final constructed product. This has been a project of trial and error, discussions with experts, and multiple prototypes to start understanding the nature of the project and what is needed to achieve our desired outcome. Kayo and Claire will have spent hundreds of hours developing this idea upon producing the final product! While there have been many challenges, both Claire and Kayo love the growth that has come from this partnership, the new skills they have each developed, as well as the friendship that has come out of this collaboration.
Watch the video below to watch a small clip of Kayo working on one of our latest prototypes!
Claire Pardington, left, and Kayo Shido, right, at the PARDINGTON COLLECTIVE Pre-Launch Event, September 2021