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The 50 Best Artist Collaborations in Fashion

8. Sterling Ruby

Label: Raf Simons

Year: 2008 - 2009

The internationally acclaimed Belgian fashion designer, Raf Simons, invited German-born, Los Angeles-based artist, Sterling Ruby, in 2008 to use his "Tokyo boutique as a canvas." Sterling's intervention transformed the store's interior from a clinical white space into something that in some ways is hard to describe. The walls were left white by Ruby, and in his typical style, appears to have haphazardly thrown paint everywhere and ended up with something beautiful, simultaneously minimal, and chaotically expressive. The plinths used to display the clothing are black with bleach splashed across them (a technique favored by Ruby in his textile manipulation work), which creates a seductive and unifying tension between the architecture holding the clothes, and the greater structure holding the entirety of the shop. The slight tonal varieties and organic veins of color converts what appears to be drywall into a material more akin to marble in a gesture of a sort of beguiling decadence. The collaboration between the two creatives was so copacetic that Simons brought on Ruby to create a unique capsule collection following the same aesthetic theme of Tokyo boutique installation the following year. Simons and Ruby have continued their collaborative relationship as recently as 2012, when Simons created fabric with images of four of Ruby's recent works. The textiles debuted as a part of Simon's premiere haute couture collection with design house Christian Dior.

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