Madewell in Residence: Providing Another Outlet for Artists

BY OLIVIA MARRONE

Madewell’s newest collaboration not only features original designs, but it also supports some of the brand’s favorite artists.

Madewell in Residence, the brand’s first artist series, spotlights three artists: Angela Mckay of Ohkii Studio, Kit Agar, and Claire Nereim of Plant Planet -- where it had them create original prints and put the art onto items such as bandanas, beach towels, and T-shirts in addition to selling the prints themselves in frames. All three of the mini collections feature bright colors and patterns, which is perfect as we are heading into summer and the warmer weather months. Now that you’ve been introduced to the artists, let’s find out more about them and the work that they do!

(1) Angela Mckay of Ohkii Studio

Angela Mckay, the creative behind Ohkii Studio, is a surface pattern designer and illustrator. Originally from Australia and Thailand, the now Brooklyn-based artist primarily makes prints and hand-painted illustrations. Her collection for Madewell in Residence is based off of documentaries about Hawaii and the history of surfing, which relates back to two of her main sources of inspiration for her work for Ohkii Studio: “the natural world” and “overseas travel adventures,” as she shares on her website. She also uses “folk tales” and “old murder mysteries” as inspiration for her work, and said on her website that ultimately “she enjoys creating pieces that can make you smile.” If you’re interested in Mckay’s work, you can visit Ohkii Studio’s website here.

(2) Kit Agar

Kit Agar’s collection for Madewell in Residence is filled with a mix of neutral and vibrant colors in abstract, geometric shapes. The South London-based artist creates prints and design templates (for items such as business cards) which are often heavily based on the female body, and explains her aesthetic to Madewell as being “Dreamy, playful and feminine.” She describes her collection for Madewell in Residence as her “interpretation of strong femininity. I like to think of the pieces complementing each other like a group of best friends,”  as shared on the Inspiration page of Madewell’s website. If you’re interested in Agar’s work, you can browse her website here.

(3) Claire Nereim of Plant Planet

Claire Nereim, the artist behind Plant Planet, creates handmade botanical screen-prints in her studio in LA, as stated in the “About” section of her website. Describing her artwork’s vibe as being “quiet, bright and botanical” she also shares with Madewell that the inspiration behind her Madewell in Residence mini collection was tropical fruits - such as coconuts - as well as “native Mexican fruits.” Besides the fruity feel of this collection, Nereim also creates prints of plants in her work for Plant Planet, which are available in the form of posters, a calendar, greeting cards, and even a set of zip-up pouches in a partnership with the brand Baggu. If you’re interested in Nereim’s work, you can visit the Plant Planet website here.

Madewell in Residence is a big deal for both Madewell and the artists being featured. By partnering with Madewell, the artists get mass exposure from Madewell’s large customer base for their primary prints being featured on t-shirts and bandanas and for their original prints made especially for this collaboration with Madewell’s audience. This collaboration was also very admirable on Madewell’s part due to the fact that they are using their platform to promote and support artists. Many fashion consumers today want to support artists and their original work, so the more brands that follow in Madewell’s footsteps, the better it will be for artists and the fashion industry as a whole as they converge.

Lead Image Credit: Madewell