After teasing the streetwear world with a string of cryptic posts earlier this week, affordable fashion label UNIQLO has officially unfurled the details of its stunning new capsule collection with contemporary artists KAWS. On Friday, the long-time collaborators dropped the first look at the new UNIQLO x KAWS UT T-Shirt Collection, which sees some of KAWS’ (real name Brian Donnelly) iconic COMPANION and BFF characters adorning the Japanese brand’s much-revered basics. However, in true KAWS fashion, Donnelly didn’t stop there, revealing that the new capsule collection was just the start of a monster collaboration project.
To coincide with the global launch of the new UT T-Shirt collaboration collection on September 8, UNIQLO is simultaneously dropping a new book about the renowned contemporary artist. The new release promises to be the ‘most comprehensive study on one of contemporary art’s most influential and much-loved forces’, touching on the details of Donnelly’s remarkable career.
From humble beginnings as a graffiti artist tagging the buildings of his local New Jersey to the award-winning contemporary icon whose monumental triptych IN THE WOODS (2002) sold for over $3 million, Donnelly has emerged as one of the most exciting creatives of the 21st century.
For the UNIQLO collection, which comprises both adult and kids sizes, KAWS’ signature COMPANION and BFF characters will feature on the cover of the new book, alongside the artist’s iconic XX motif. Better still, UNIQLO is also offering a range of limited-edition gifts for customers purchasing the art book and UT collection, including an exclusive shoulder bag and stickers.
For fans of KAWS, the new collection follows a series of successful collaborations with UNIQLO, including the highly successful PEACE FOR ALL charity project in 2022, which cemented the American creative’s status in the art world. Over the years, Donnelly’s mixed-medium work has drawn comparisons as wide-ranging as Basquiat and Haring, all the way through to Warhol and Koons. While the former duo is no stranger to collaboration, Donnelly is firming as arguably the most marketable artist still working today, and UNIQLO is the perfect partner to join him for the ride.
“I’m pleased to be launching my new Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series book exclusively with my long-time partner UNIQLO,” Donnelly said. “To celebrate the occasion, I designed a small capsule collection of T-shirts and sweatshirts that will be available for a limited time. I hope you enjoy the collection!”