ROMANCE WAS BORN
Romance Was Born is the creative pursuit of Sydney based designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales. With otherworldly prints forming the basis of each collection, the designer duo take inspiration from a wide collection of artists, often working with them collaboratively to create a unique language each season. Plunkett and Sales share an obsession for detail – from the naivety of craft to the perfection of a couturier, both elements inform their collections. www.romancewasborn.com
Mark Reigelman is a Brooklyn based artist specializing in site specific objects and installations. Most well known for the distinct combination of experimental materials in expected situations, such as chairs coated in broken glass or a giant reading nest constructed outside the Cleveland Public Library and constructed from over 10,000 reclaimed timber boards. His work is surprising and sophisticated. www.markreigelman.com
Reko Rennie is an Australian interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary mediums. Rennie’s bold and somewhat hypnotic large scale geometric patterning can be seen in galleries and urban environments from his hometown of Melbourne to Paris and NYC. Through his art, Rennie represents his community, the Kamilaroi people and provokes discussion surrounding Indigenous culture in contemporary urban environments.. www.rekorennie.com
Brad Eastman (aka Beastman), based in Sydney, creates tightly detailed, often symmetrical, geometric patterns and beastlike emotive characters. The beautiful spawn of nature’s elements and an untamed imagination. Brad has worked with everyone from Element to Hyundai, but most recognisable are his large public murals seen all over the earth. The three Beastman sunglasses share their colour pallet with Brad’s artwork and inspired by his elements of Nature, Storm and Forest. www.beastman.com.au
Brosmind is a studio based in Barcelona founded by Juan and Alejandro Mingarro. Their style is fresh and optimistic and always combines fantasy and humor. Their illustrations have been awarded with the most prestigious international awards, like Cannes Lions, Clio, Eurobest, Graphis, Sol, CdeC, Laus, among others www.brosmind.com
TORO Y MOI
Chaz Bundick is a multi talented man, man. Best known as the front man of eponymous chill-wave collective Toro Y Moi. His other pursuits also include graphic design, solo project Le Sins, being a causal merchant of all things stylish and in need of constant visual correction. All this combined makes him the perfect candidate for a COLAB collaboration www.toroymoi.com
Askill Projects consists of three hugely talented brothers, Lorin, Daniel and Jordan. Now scattered all over the world, COLAB has had the opportunity to reunite them in the pursuit of modern sunglasses with a classic sensibility. The first release is from Lorin – a director and artist from Sydney, creating and directing his own work, as well as collaborating with his brother Daniel Askill on short and long form projects under the Collider banner. www.askillprojects.com
Lorin created this video
to accompany the release of his frames
Elke Kramer (AUS) is an illustrator, art director, and jewellery designer, Elke Kramer brings a vast reservoir of creativity, adaptability, and technical ability to all of her projects. Based in Sydney, Australia, she has art directed her own art & fashion zine (Lilacmenace). Her jewellery can be found in some of the worlds best stores such as Colette (Paris), Liberty (London), Opening Ceremony (NY, LA & Tokyo) & Family (LA). Rather than follow the trends of the market; her designs are the result of endless material exploration of unexpected production techniques. Great attention is paid to every single detail, and the emphasis is always on innovation. The resulting jewellery is a surprising and colourful ode to individuality. www.elkekramer.com
Above (unknown) has been concocting public art since 1995 and is most well known for his spinning wooden arrow mobile installations. His identity and nationality have always remained a secret. More recently his work has focused on large scale text based word play murals. The frames he has worked on with Colab are named after Above’s three favourite global travels and encapsulate the style of each. www.goabove.com
Ears To The Ground (AUS)Daniel O’Tool, aka Ears, is a Sydney born painter, skater, street artists, musician and regular human. Ears portraiture is bright and playful while encapsulating the frailty of the inner city human condition. Daniel only discovered his emotive art had value selling scribbles on the back of old cardboard boxes at Newtown station and he hasn’t stopped working since. He was pivotal at Oh Really Gallery, a Magazine, is developing FreeTheBeats.com and still finds time to exhibit and paint with internationally renowned artists… and COLAB of course. earstotheground.net
Check out exclusive tracks from his upcoming free the beats release here
Jonathan Calugi (Italy) is a graphic designer from Pistoia, Italy. Despite no formal training Jonathan has worked with international heavy weights such as Nike, Sony and Delonghi, utilising a combination of raw talent, enthusiasm and a tongue in his cheek. We have created shades for the twighlight sun on the seas of a Lego Timbuctu City. www.happyloverstown.eu/wordpress
Anthony Lister (US/AUS) an Australian born painter turned Brooklyn based superhero. His work can be seen on both the street and gallery walls of London, NYC and Australia. Anthony explores the iconography of modern society. These icons take the form of cartoons and superheroes engrained in our youth by television and pop culture. Mr Lister’s work questions the reality and value of these modern gods and goddesses. There’s one thing for sure, Anthony Lister’s super power is the Midas touch. www.listerart.com.au
Timba is a Melbourne born graphic designer, artist, illustrator, independent publisher, self confessed magazine whore, wannabe Olympic ping-pong player and has a proper love of all things vintage. Now based in London it would be safe to call Timba’s work ‘varied’ as much as it is nostalgic and hand-crafted. Founding ‘Wooden Toy Quarterly’, the worlds only quarterly ‘boogazine’ that comes out once a year… www.timbasmits.com
After just 5 years in the game this collective from the other windy city have already conquered collaborations with New Balance and Reebok, and now they have their sights set on their own Colab frame with an homage to early nineties hip hop icons. Drawing from the Coogee sweater, Versace shade era that Brooklyn’s Finest brought to the spotlight, Their shades are a throwback to the unlikely union between the street urchins and high fashion houses that made the 90′s such a memorable time for hip-hop and fashion in general. Sunnies for the dice shakers and investment bankers alike. www.highsandlows.net.au
A favourite amongst Art Directors, magazine collectors and mushroom lovers the world over, Deanne Cheuk is the greatest Australian art export to NYC since…well, ever. She’s a hit in the biz, and raked in more awards than can possibly fit here or any mantelpiece, but think “Young Guns” by the Art Directors Club of NY to “The Best People of 2004” by Time Magazine, a tribute to her groundbreaking illustration – water colour – typography styles. www.deannecheuk.com
Growing up in Todenhausen in Germany on a staple diet of drawing and travel, Stefan Marx at the age of 16 had already started the ‘Lousy Livin’ company as a joke. Arguably one of the coolest teenage t-shirt labels about, ‘Lousy Livin’ is still up and running today. Now in Hambourg, Marx’s love of drawing has flourished, he now publihes books and all sorts of cool stuff…www.s-marx.de
A modern day master, the work of Geoff Mcfetridge has had a heavyweight influence not only on transcendent visual communication, but also much more broadly across pop culture. His work has been as diverse as to include motion graphics for The Virgin Suicides and Adaptation, collaborations with companies like Nike and innumerable skate and fashion projects. Undoubtedly Geoff is one of the most respected and in demand young artists on the West Coast of the States and around the world. championdontstop.com
THE PRESETS / ZAWADA
The unholy marriage of designer Jonathan Zawada and music wunder kids, The Presets has lasted longer and produced more glorious offspring than almost any of the traditional kind. Collectively they have produced a bounty of work across albums covers, tour artwork, tee shirts and photography. thepresets.com zawada.com.au
Mark Whalen (Kill Pixie) is an Australian born painter now residing in Los Angeles. In his meticulously crafted work, the view senses the indomitable spirits of creativity, humor and resistance. The work points toward dynamic new understandings that will be necessary for survival in the future of our world. www.killpixie.net
Having considered the metaphysical arts in crystal caverns at an early age, Brett Chan cultivated a fascination with all thins awoken in the rugged west coast beaches of Aotearoa, NZ. His transition into the mainstream pulse was via the curbside art of skateboarding. Working through varied forms; photography, writing, documentary film making, clothing design, Brett Chan is best described as a Book Worm. www.allfrequency.com
French eschews all things fangled and bright. He prefers things simple- like tea, metal, skateboarding (inclusive of the destruction that comes with it), and drawing . He favours things that are less; like darkness (the absence of light) or the way he travels (without luggage). Where he contradicts this is on the drawing table. Excruciating amounts of detail and time are applied to an idea. French heads a new blood line in a tradition of sub-cultural aesthetics.
Simple, but striking, the characters of Genevieve Gauckler seem unnervingly empowered and emotive despite their flatter-than-flat two dimensional styling. A wealth of pop culture seems to be at the heart of Gauckler, and her work as an art director reflects this. Working heavily with companies that vary from legendary techno label, F Communications, through to the likes of Yves Saint Laurent. She has produced many of her own shows, installations and films, and even published a retrospective celebration of the artists of Big Active in the UK. Celebrating her own art, she is the focus of a series of publications including two Gas books.
Chris is carving himself out a niche as mr multidisciplinary for his unique illustration, art direction and animation aesthetics. He’s designed for a whose who of labels including X-girl, Beams, Lee, 2k by Gingham & Lover and has created artwork for bands including Spank Rock, Phantom Planet & BlackBlack. Chris mostly keeps to himself and is currently based in Tokyo, Japan.
Some things science itself can still not fully answer, and to fuel the fires of speculation and keep the conspiracy theories raging, COLAB are releasing an unsigned design this season. Anyone who wants to guess at the artist can, but we’re sworn to never reveal his/her true identity.
Artist du jour of the huge hand drawn x computer wizardry style, Mike continues to lead from the front from his Brooklyn home base. Willing to test his aptitude in seemingly endless incarnations, he’s produced books, clothing, mags / zines, paintings and graphics in between holding shows, blogging and teaching. His work has been picked by institutions the likes of New York Times, Microsoft and Urban Outfitters amongst a myriad of foaming-at-the-mouth magazines.
nocturnal, bookworm, graphic designer, and streetwear banger, the TONITE label and it’s introverted-yet-rocked out founder Fergus Purcell is true design gold for the puritan. From his homemade tattoos to the non-existent band he shares with Perks & Mini, ‘The Changes’, everything he does is genius. Shooting to stylistic stardom with his work for Silas, he has gone on work for labels of the ilk of Holmes, Very Ape, Good Enough, X-Girl Japan, Hysteric Glamour, and Heavy Metals Kids as well as published by Nieves and Gas.
A man whose constellation is on a cultural tear at the moment, Will Sweeney has put on show his wide-ranging skill set since moving on from Silas to steer his own ship, Alakazam. Successfully creating pieces that come to life as easily in comic form as they do as toys and with collaborations in the giddy worlds of Undercover to GAS to Nike, he is a demigod of youth-pitched design.
The monster of graffiti in Australia, you can’t spell ‘street art’ in Aussie without the letters D-M-O-T-E. Plying his art across the globe, but still firmly held to the ground by his roots in the artisan suburb of Surry Hills, Sydney, DMOTE (aka Shannon Peel) has managed to evolve his art across mediums and even into the commercial sphere without ever sacrificing his integrity or intelligence. Part of the RVCA team, he has recently exhibited jointly with Ed Templeton and has a show in the works with la-dee-dah boutique Colette in Paris.
Godfather of the quintessential street-come-skate-come-art magazine, Lodown, Thomas Marecki, aka Marok has not only influenced the way we consume youth-focussed media, but has also help shape the movement itself through his own significant art contributions. Recognised through his works and a dedicated Gas book, Marok has stormed global streetwear, collaborating with the likes of Supreme, Nike, Burton and Adidas amongst a host of others. The perfect embodiment of his work is the Lodown – graphic engineering and Schizophrenic! Books that capture both the spirit of Marok and the magazine he founded.
Josh’s work somehow smacks of both recognition and mystery. His style is instantly recognisable for the hand writing of it’s owner, but inextricably hard to place in terms of any cultural landmarks for those not exposed to his style before….is it from the 1970s?…..is the artist Japanese, eer FRENCH!? There is no better means to submerge yourself in his work than the book created for Nieves, which is a trip through his unique world of illustration and an opening to his characters, which seems somewhat somber or ill at ease with their surroundings, but always so beautiful.
Melbourne’s favourite duo – Shauna and Misha have grown P.A.M. from humble beginnings on the walls of their home city to become arguably the most well respected progressive graphic artists of the Southern Hemisphere. From their namesake fashion label, to touring their mysteriously non-existent band, The Changes (a collaboration with Fergadelic and Skatething) to screen print productions and books P.A.M. continues to a wave of success more recognised outside their own country, but brimming with an intelligence that doesn’t take itself seriously, but is pure genius.
The masters of raster and princes of all things pixilated, the Eboy gang have been slowly building a new world for us to inhabit – a world where lego-like monsters step over porno movie cinemas and block headed pirates raid normally serene rivers. Famously recreating cities like London and Cologne under complete ‘Eboy-erisation’ this creative crew have worked with brands of the caliber of Sims, Puma and Paul Smith amongst a slew of others.
As much the pin-up boy of design and current day surf-garage culture as the girls he is famous for depicting, the mysterious Rockin’ Jellybean’s work is intrinsically forward thinking for someone who’s style references the past so heavily. Part burlesque, part manga, part hot rod and all art, JB’s designs have been applied to many mediums clothing lines, album covers, skateboards, prints and as toys.
NEASDEN CONTROL CENTRE
Steve Smith who works under the name Neasden Control Centre is a UK based artist whose output is not confined to one medium or message. Hailing from the north of England but based frequently between the UK and Spain, where he can be found drawing and painting his way through work encompassing illustration, design, typography, motion graphics, installations, art exhibitions and one off projects. His first book, a collection of artworks from Smith and collaborators was published and sold out by Die Gestalten in 2003.