The Kooples opens its contemporary art exhibition, on the Champs-Elysées
Without culture, there is no future. This is the new leitmotiv of French label The Kooples, which has reinvented itself - with a touch of irreverence - since the arrival of Marie Schott as general manager and Capucine Safyurtlu as creative director.
After its cathartic reset and the "FuckKooples" campaign, the brand has returned to its forgotten love, the arts. Created in August 2008 by three brothers, Alexandre, Laurent and Raphaël Elicha, the brand is part of the MF Brands group among others such as Lacoste, Gant, Aiglea and wishes to highlight young emerging artists.
The first edition of its contemporary art prize crowns the French-Palestinian artist Gaby Sahhar. From October 26, 2022 to January 9, 2023, the brand's new flagship on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées will host his works mixing oil paintings and video installation.
Positioned in the accessible luxury market, the brand unveils its The Kooples Art Prize, announced last April, in its new flagship located at 93, avenue des Champs-Elysées. The brand is taking over the store from Lacoste, which is also part of the Maus Frères holding company.
This 360-degree support program was designed to help emerging artists work in professional conditions. Each winner receives a maximum of 28,000 euros dedicated to the production of an installation project; an additional 10,000 euros for a professional scenographer and a global flat fee of 6,000 euros for themselves for the four months.
The approach of the contemporary art prize we have created is unprecedented for a brand like ours," says Marie Schott, CEO of The Kooples. Our goal is very clear: we want to bring together the radicalism that characterizes our collections and our way of seeing fashion with that of artists of the contemporary scene," continues the founder of the lingerie brand AnaShaf.
Supporting the emerging art scene
With "Zone O," a large-scale project produced specifically for the venue (deployed on the ground floor and upper floors of the store), Gaby Sahhar, the award-winning artist living in London, shares his vision of Western metropolises, where one's singularity dissolves into a crowd of anonymous users. His paintings question how plural identities, genders and sexualities can be expressed and manifested in public space. The warm, golden yellow of the oil brush rubs shoulders with the bright blue of the European flag and darker hues are shaded with a graphite pencil.
In the first store window is presented Gaby Sahhar's main canvas. Concave in shape, it contains a video installment called "Fragile Existence", where black and white images of interrogation rooms and courtrooms are displayed one after another. For The Kooples Art Prize, the 30-year-old artist was inspired by the pictorial legacy of Otto Dix and the dystopian and futuristic manga "Ghost in the Shell". For three months, four of his creations will be exhibited in The Kooples store, then from January, the art installation of the French-American artist Kim Farkas will be put forward. In the summer, their respective works will join the Museum of Contemporary Art of Val-de-Marn, the cultural institution partner of the prize.
"Our program is not only decorative but it is a real support to the young artistic scene, the average age of the winners is about 35 years," smiles Thomas Conchou, the curator of the exhibition. "As we are showing in a store on an extremely busy avenue and not in an art gallery, we are very interested in hearing the feedback of the curious and the customers who have not been informed". In a nod to traditional museums, a brochure detailing the artist's journey and works will be distributed to visitors.
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