Conversation with Daniel Arsham: When an Artist Who Loves “Archaeology” Starts Designing Fashion

The output of fashion revolves around creativity, imagination, history, culture, personal feelings, and the need to keep up with trends, but in today’s fashion context, fashion is generously inspiring artists and designers from different disciplines, who are participating in the process of fashion design and offering new ideas about fashion possibilities.
Daniel Arsham, a contemporary artist from the United States, is one of them. He has worked with Dior Homme and Tiffany & Co. in cross-border creations of fashion and art, and Daniel Arsham brings the broken aesthetics that he specializes in into full play in each piece of artwork, using elements such as gypsum, crystals, white quartz, glass and so on, throughout the works. In his artistic approach, he uses elements such as plaster, crystal, white quartz, glass, etc. throughout his works, remaking everyday objects to show a sense of shabbiness, pushing the completion time of his works to the “present moment of the future”, and interpreting the sense of illusion brought about by time through the objects.
Based on his strong interest in “archaeological aesthetics”, Daniel Arsham puts his personal sensibility into fashion, and together with Stefano Martinetto, CEO of Tomorrow Group, he founded the clothing brand Objects IV Life, and the first collection of Objects IV Life, Chapter 00, was released. In Objects IV Life’s first collection, Chapter 001, Daniel Arsham presents the core pieces of his everyday wardrobe: work jackets, denim jackets, chinos hoodies and chinos shirt jackets. Based on everyday silhouettes, Arsham creates a strong texture in the fabrics, with the denim washed and aged and the recycled metal polished to create a mottled look, as if it had been left behind by the natural sediment of time, with a sense of vicissitude, calmly distancing itself from the colorful world of fashion.
In Chapter 001, the products are mainly made from recycled clothing and sustainable fabrics, customized metal alloy fasteners and special copper green wash technology, including hoodies, vintage straight jeans, T-shirts, functional jackets, canvas handbags and work boots, etc., which give the materials a strong time imprint, giving each item its own unique attributes, and accommodating both a sense of order in the workplace and an antique sense of history, which is straightforward and easy to understand. The collection is a straightforward expression of his personal fashion logic from the outside to the inside, which is organized by his artistic creation.
Daniel extends his artistic vision to clothing design, exploring the archaeological remains of the present in a futuristic world. Chapter 001’s collection took nearly two years to develop, which is a long time in the ever-changing world of fashion, and a process that has an extraordinary significance for Objects IV Life. Curiosity about Daniel Arsham may have started with “Eroded Mahjong” or “Eroded Teddy Bears”, but what is the difference between making art and making fashion? sat down with the post-80s artist for an in-depth discussion.
Here’s our conversation with Daniel Arsham. 1:
1. We’ve known you through your various crossover collaborations in the fashion industry, how did you decide to start your own label, Objects IV Life?
Daniel Arsham: I was introduced to Stefano Martinetto, CEO of Tomorrow Group, by Samuel Ross, the owner of A-Cold-Wall*, and when I met with Stefano, he suggested that my style of dress was very distinctive, just like my artwork. I wanted more people to enjoy my clothes as much as I enjoy my art, and that was the first step to start the Objects IV Life brand.
2. How did you lay the groundwork for the Objects IV Life concept with the Chapter 001 collection?
Daniel Arsham: In Chapter001 there are some very durable and long-lasting fashion pieces, as well as many combinations of basic styles, which were inspired by concepts in my existing artwork, and were created around the concept of Patina (hand rubbed colors) in the collection, which you can interpret as a way of saying ‘allow’. You can also interpret this as an aesthetic that ‘allows things to change over time’. I often imagine how to manipulate objects to look like relics after a thousand years in my creations, and this is the same concept for the Patina pieces, where the fabrics are polished and textured over time, living in symbiosis with the wearer, and wearing out in response to nature…allowing the process of wearing the garments to become the The concept, or through the concept, the style.
3. In terms of craftsmanship, how do you realize the concept of “erosion by time”?
Daniel Arsham: We spent almost 2 years on the development of the Chapter 001 collection, after 2 years of research and experimentation we decided to launch the collection… We put a lot of thought into the choice of materials for the collection, I don’t come from a fashion designer background, so it took a lot of work to translate my concepts into garments. We have hired great designers who know how to transform the workwear form into something that is unique to the brand. There’s some heavy denim that’s been washed hundreds of times, there’s a lot of workwear silhouettes that are inspired by vintage Japanese jackets, and even though it’s in the form of a classic workwear jacket, you can wear these garments in your everyday life for different occasions.
I had some more specific silhouettes in mind that the designers helped me translate into garments, and the other is that we use a lot of stagnant cotton in our garments, which is not produced, but rather reused from existing resources. We dye the cotton to create different layers of color, and the fabrics we use are made from sustainable sources, which gives each piece a unique character and identity, like a work of art. I’m not sure if I’d call the brand a “luxury brand”, but the materials used in the garments are carefully selected and made according to the principles of “luxury”.
4. Which piece from Chapter 001 stands out for you?
Daniel Arsham: The one that stands out for me is the canvas tote bag, we experimented with different washes to create this bag, it has a heavy duty construction and is very durable, and it might be the starting point for my next collection.
5. If Objects IV Life doesn’t follow fashion shows as a trend point, what do you think is the unique value of the brand?
Daniel Arsham: Even though Objects IV Life is a fashion brand, it doesn’t necessarily follow the fashion calendar for each season, so each collection is more like a way for me to create artwork that distances itself from fashion trends and launches. Looking at my sculptures, the objects that inspire me often come from our lives and I peek into the future with the idea of what these objects will look like and how to give these pieces a sense of time, I try not to think about the different vehicles from which objects and fashion come from, for me they are just different transformations and creative shifts between the objects, sometimes in my work I work with metal and sometimes I work with clothing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top