Written by Adam Bryce
Japanese fashion house, Sacai, present a new collection with the help of New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas.
Sacai’s creative director, Chitose Abe, isn’t afraid to send bold messages. You may recall her now-iconic ‘Truth’ graphics made in collaboration with The New York Times for their A/W 2018 collection. And, in a reasonably short time, Sacai has grown from an independent fashion label with a cult following to a global powerhouse. They’re leaders of a new generation of Japanese brands that follow on from the success of Comme Des Garçons, Junya Watanabe and Undercover.
When it comes to Sacai’s success, no surprises that each garment is thoughtfully designed, blending cultural references — whether they be upcycled MA-1 jackets, collaborations with brands such as Nike or socio-political commentary.
In a winning, stay-relevant move, this season sees Abe collaborate with African-American artist and activist Hank Willis Thomas to send a clear message of unity, in a time when the world needs it more than ever. In recent years, we’ve witnessed Thomas’ art become hugely revered by the masses. Already a highly regarded artist within the art world, Thomas’ work, often speaking of togetherness and racial injustice, has become a visual symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Sacai’s new collection calls upon one of Thomas’ 2017 public works, entitled ‘Love over Rules’. The permanent work, located on San Francisco’s Annie Street, was designed as a tribute to Thomas’ brother who was killed 17 years earlier and these now-garment-emblazoned words send a profound message.
In another creative masterpiece, we spy Hank Willis Thomas in Sacai’s video presentation of the collection, alongside a guest appearance by street culture icon Fraser Cooke.