The Kooples launches a prize competition for contemporary artists
The Kooples has expanded into contemporary art. The Paris-based premium fashion brand has launched The Kooples Art Prize, an annual competition aimed at promoting emerging artists in the international arts scene. Gaby Sahhar and Kim Farkas were selected out of 12 applicants as winners of this first edition.
The artworks produced for the award will be displayed in Paris next fall at the brand's new flagship store on the Champs Elysées. They will also be the centerpieces of an exhibition at the Musée d'art contemporain du Vallée de Marne in summer 2023.
“The flagship store on the Champs-Elysées will be the first to showcase our new creative impetus as a fashion brand, but not only that,” said creative director Capucine Safyurtlu. “While The Kooples' 2022 winter collections will mark a new era for the brand, the dialogue with contemporary art will allow us to tell a story that goes much further in terms of radicality and creativity."
In addition to the in-store and in-museum exposure, the prize money includes €28,000, artists' fees, a research residency at Maison Artagon, and professional support.
Sahhar, the French-Palestinian artist living in London, works with ink, paint, video, and installations. He also runs the artist support network LGBTQIA+ Queerdirect. His multi-sensory piece for this award was inspired by the works of Otto Dix, futuristic manga, and video clips.
Farkas lives in Paris, where he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The French-American artist of Peranakan origin, who founded the Holoholo Books publishing house, presented oblong envelopes adorned with reflections of toxic preciousness for The Kooples Prize.
Founded in 2008 by the Elicha brothers, The Kooples joined the Swiss group MF Brands in 2019, which entrusted the brand’s management to former director of Etam and founder of Ana Shaf, Marie Schott, in 2021. Her mandate is to write the brand’s second chapter: moving away from the rock identity of the past while cultivating a dose of irreverence.
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