Emerging label Gent London is convinced artist collaborations and upcycled fashion are the way forward.
The label’s upcoming 33-piece bespoke collection will blend sustainability ideals with the viewpoints of international street artists this London Fashion Week. Artists like Sophie Tea, Rich Simmons, Emma Gibbons and rising artist Ghost collaborated for this project. Each bespoke piece is hand-painted, signed and exclusively designed by the artist for Gent London and comes with a hologram label and digital certificate from digital platform Verisart so buyers can confirm authenticity.
British artist Sophie Tea sells her work solely on Instagram as a rejection of the traditional art world and helped update a vintage Burberry trench for Gent London. Meanwhile, fellow British artist Rich Simmons also updated Burberry looks using a pop-art butterfly technique he’s known for called “Skullerflies.” Other artists who have ongoing collaborations with Gent London include TikTok star Onnika Caldeira (who has more than 100,000 followers on her account “Girl Scout Shoes”). Not her first fashion entry, Caldeira recently launched a luxury handbag collection influenced by the New Romantics era.
Gent London, launched in 2021 amid the pandemic lockdown, ethically sources what it calls “grade A” vintage from trusted vintage sellers and works with its artists to ensure only sustainable materials are used for the collaborative project. Rather than indicating any disrespect to the originators of the vintage luxury pieces, the label equates the goods as the highest-quality “blank canvas” fashion can find.
Although the brands had no involvement in this collaboration, luxury players like Burberry have collaborated on upcycling initiatives in the past offering up goods to designers like Patrick McDowell for redesign.
Asked what inspired the initiative, Ellis Harrington, director at Gent London, said it came down to being able to showcase the work of artists in a way that “breaks the boundaries and constraints of what fashion actually means.” Harrington reiterated that the design process transforms pre-loved pieces into highly collectable and desired wearable works of art with the hope that the noise created by the collection turns consumers back to climate awareness.
Although not yet disclosed, a percentage of each sale will be donated to environmental charities. After the runway reveal, the collection will be for sale on Gent London’s website, ranging in price from 415 pounds to 5,000 pounds based on the artist’s denoted value.