Marti Guixe, most commercially known for his collaboration with the brand Camper and Rei Kawakubo, founder of fashion label Comme des Garcons share an artful strength. These are designers which create their own independent environments and put their ideas in them.
Described as ‘a hedgehog* in a land of foxes’, Marti Guixe is a creator of fantastic ideas. ‘Ideas’ the soul seed to an initial brief and a skill that cannot be taught. This natural ability of independent thinking sieves the many designers apart from the great designers. What i-am like about him is his blatant honestly, for all to see, for example ‘If you don’t need it don’t buy it’ slogans displayed on camper shopping bags. Designers like Marti have an unique thought process and this in itself then becomes part of the design. Humble scribbled ‘idea’ drawings, to final interior/product concepts.
i-am are intrigued with his constant reference to food. Many projects revolve around this theme, one particular i-am favourite is the edible wall, (image shown above), where you go and eat the space your in!!
Why the ‘food theme’ becomes reoccurring in his work? Well, I put it down to him being Catalan. From living here in Spain for the last year I believe the Spanish have their priorities of eating spot on. Regardless of an office deadline, huge volume of work, the Spanish stop to eat! Guixe attempts to put things into perspective.” I have considered that I will buy perhaps two chairs in my lifetime, but I buy food three times a day”.
This brings me to the point of putting things (objects, brands) into to perspective. A perspective, what is that? It is how we view a brand, and it is how the designer wants us to view it. We are often carefully steered into a perception of a brand. Marti Guixe and Rei Kawakubo give us a new perspective by demostrating how they view their ideas not how we are told to view. ‘Shop design, interior design, catwalk design, Rei is often called the designer’s designer’.
She founded the label Comme des Garcons, which means ‘Like Boys’ in Tokyo in 1969. A slow growing company, now annually amassing 75 million pounds her priority has always been creativity. ‘Finding the right balance between the creative and the commercial has always been my work. The two are not necessary opposed’. Her collaborations are wide and varied, from Speedo to the up and coming H&M collection (in UK stores Nov 13th) to connect with the new fashion generation and get a wider audience to experiment with creative fashion. Her concept of Guerrilla Comme shops, which appear and disappear as fast as the seasons have secured her reputataion as a successful rebel, and leave us asking how we can express identiy stronger.
Her concept and direction of Dover Street Market (In London UK), brings together her vision where ‘various creators from various fields gather together and encounter each other in an ongoing atmosphere of beautiful chaos: the mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision.”
‘I enjoy seeing all the customers coming to DSM dressed in their strong, good looking and individual way. I would like for DSM to be the place where fashion becomes fascinating.”
Reki Kawakubo and Marti Guiex bring to brands their perception of beauty and ideals, regardless of trends. That is admirable, that is lasting and why their work, works!
*’hedgehog in a land of foxes’ illustration by Ganton