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Arts / Museums

Takashi Murakami Collaborates With Vault by Vans

BY // 06.26.15

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami may be best known for his two-dimensional, cartoon-like illustrations of smiling flowers and skulls, but the style he’s invented, Superflat, refers to much more than that. It’s also a philosophy: Commercial and high-art worlds need not be separate, the style espouses; the two can coexist, often meaningfully. Superflat is the world seen through Murakami’s lens, where the alleged differences between high-, middle- and lowbrow culture are nonexistent and are, in fact, barriers to a deeper understanding of not just art but the world. Few artists embody this ethos more thoroughly than Murakami, who has exhibited at Gagosian and the Guggenheim, installed a sculpture exhibit at Versailles and was personally invited by Marc Jacobs to collaborate on handbags at Louis Vuitton. Murakami also created iconic album artwork for Kanye West, collaborated on a music video with Pharrell Williams and even draw a doodle on the Google homepage in 2011.Superflat” could also describe the classic Vans slip-on — a blank canvas of a shoe that Murakami wears at his studio in Japan. After mentioning in a Harper’s Bazaar interview that he’d love to collaborate with Vans, the sportswear and skateboard lifestyle brand made it happen. The Fall 2015 Vault by Vans premium-label collection features clever riffs on the slip-on shoe with bold Murakami designs of smiling flowers and skulls, as well as T-shirt designs and even skateboard decks. On Saturday, June 27, select Vans stores will start carrying the limited collection of Murakami-designed apparel. You can also find the line at barneys.com. Click here for a list of stores carrying the collection.

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