Fiorucci has a long and illustrious history of working with artists. In the 1980s, the founder of the label, Elio Fiorucci, invited the legendary Keith Haring to collaborate. Haring, with the help of his protégé – a 16-year-old called Angel Ortiz, who is also known by his moniker LA II – spray-painted the walls of the first Fiorucci store in Milan’s Galleria Passarella. It was in this same spirit that the incumbent creative director of the label, Daniel Fletcher, invited Lakwena Maciver to team up on a capsule collection.
Behind the scenes at the Fiorucci x Lakwena Editorial shoot
Based in London, Lakwena employs bright colour and bold text to create paintings which, often appearing in public spaces in the form of murals, can be understood to be “escape routes, Afrofuturistic portals to utopia”. These paintings are, in many ways, reminiscent of Fiorucci’s stores, which have always been filled with brightly-coloured objects. The starting point for Lakwena’s collaboration with Fiorucci began with a visit to the label’s archive, where she learned about its connection to the golden age of disco in 1970s New York; to people dancing, celebrating and having a good time. And while this moment cannot be recreated, it’s this energy that she wanted to channel into the collection.
Lakwena x Fiorucci shirts hanging
Through further research, she identified more crossovers between Fiorucci and her work; between Fiorucci’s relationship with disco and her relationship with gospel – for as Fiorucci draws on disco, Lakwena draws on gospel, a musical culture that similarly centres around ideas of connectedness, spirituality and joy. The resulting collection melds Fiorucci’s visual language with that of Lakwena, combining bright colours, bold patterns, reworked logos and original motifs. Taking cues from another musical culture, UK garage, the collection features all-over print denim jacket and jeans, shirts and velvet flares, along with printed Lycra tops emblazoned with Fiorucci’s iconic Angels motif. A satin colour block bomber is accompanied by hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, trousers and shorts, featuring a Fiorucci logo and an original hand motif by Lakwena, in a gesture of prayer or praise. This hand motif also appears on handheld fans, which have become synonymous with both disco and gospel, acting as essential items in these often packed and poorly air-conditioned environments, filled with dancing, moving bodies.
Model wearing Fiorucci Clothing with Lakwena's hand motif
Lakwena Maciver’s collaboration with Fiorucci is presented via a short film starring a gospel choir who, diverse in age and size, encapsulate this idea of coming together and deliver an uplifting message of connectedness and joy – perhaps in a time when we need it the most. Lakwena means ‘messenger of the chief’ in the northern Ugandan language Acholi. Born in 1986, her name is reflected in her artistic practice, which is concerned with messages. Utilising bright colour and bold text, her eye-catching paintings explore and gently subvert ideas relating to decolonisation, redemption, escapism, afrofuturism, and utopia. Currently based in London, her work has been shown internationally in cities including London, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and more. Perhaps best known for her murals, her work has also appeared in public spaces from Tate Britain, Somerset House, Facebook and the Southbank Centre in London, to the Bowery Wall in New York, a juvenile detention centre in Arkansas and a monastery in Vienna.
Family fun at the editorial shoot
Prints of Lakwena's Hand Motif
For the collaboration with Lakwena, Fiorucci teamed up with curators Edward Sanders and Michael Howes of D'Stassi Art who have been producing pop-ups since 2017 and who recently launched a gallery in Shoreditch. Inspired by the radical inclusivity of the 1980s graffiti and street art movements, D’Stassi Art functions as a catalyst for creative partnerships and activations between artists and brands. Timed with the launch of the capsule collection, D’Stassi Art will publish a collectible zine, featuring art by Lakwena and Fiorucci, and creative direction by Ben Ditto. The 28-page limited-edition publication will include luxuriously saturated, offset litho fold-out prints and vintage Fiorucci selvedge denim covers detailed with original artwork by Lakwena.
The Book has been made available in three tiers:
- Option 1 - Limited edition run of 150 x hand-numbered zines, inside a custom bag with stickers, each contains one folded A2 print.
- Option 2 - Limited edition run of 30 x containing one of the A1 prints.
- Option 3 - Limited edition run of 20 x containing all 3 of the prints screen printed and at a larger A1 size.
ARTISTIC DIRECTION Daniel Fletcher
PHOTOGRAPHY Ruth Ossai
PHOTOGRAPHY Robert David Foster
STYLING Theo White
PRODUCTION Alix Murat
MAKE-UP Joey Choy
Published by D'Stassi Art.
Please note: Delivery is currently is around a 14 day wait.