We first made 30 custom rugby shirts in London, and we dropped them during Salone in Milan, and they sold straightaway. Then we got in touch with the supplier and we said, Can you just make us 50 hoodies? We said, we don’t care what you make, whatever you have, just make stuff. And they also did the back patch for us. So yeah, it’s truly one off. We actually didn’t design those. Whoever was sewing and cutting them in Canada, they were in charge. And when they came in and we lined them up on a rail, we were like, wow.
The logistical part is a bit hectic, but it’s something we’ve done it with hats as well. When we released hats and then kept half of them and dyed them by hand. So there’s definitely that moment of wanting to make more things as a downtime. Staying late in the studio and just trying to switch over, still being present with your work for something that’s not a runway collection or a big art exhibition or flying around the world. I think it’s a little hobby that we have. It’s becoming more than a hobby now.
That personal cutting work reminds me of the custom Stüssy pieces you made in college. Which is now a sort of legendary part of your practice.
KK: Even when I was doing those, they were just practice for ideas that I could maybe use in my graduate collection or just any design language. Same with this. With Otto, I can use it as practice for something that might not be part of the Otto language, which could be translated into a runway piece for my collection.
AM: This whole thing does feel like an exercise in making, down to the visuals that we have and the campaigns. It is these exercises of, how can we put our worlds together in a way that compliment each other? For example, the campaign for the Asics release was shot at Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin’s farm in Ohio. So that’s bringing this side of our world into it in a way that feels unique to us.
Al, do you feel a sense of pride when you go to a fair and you see the way that Otto has kind of infiltrated the art world?
AM: Yeah, it’s interesting to see how it has kind of made its way through that culture. And I always laugh about it because that world really doesn’t have any options either. This is your option basically. If you want to play in both worlds, nobody else is giving you this. So yeah, it does make me happy to see it and happy that it’s been absorbed in that way.
Kiko, how would you rate art world style?
KK: I mean I haven’t been to Frieze many times. In the past few years I kind of try to avoid it. I think going to Frieze is maybe the same as going to any fashion function. People have pretty diabolical ways of putting outfits together. But I never really judge people for how they dress anymore. I’m like, well, what made you put this together? I don’t really know. And is there a right or wrong? At some point what those people are wearing will be sarcastic, and a big brand will do it. And then we’ll think it’s cool. So I think I lost my sense of judgment towards fashion. I just don’t have time to think about that, to be honest.
AM: I think the art world has definitely leaned heavily into the fashion world in terms of presentation. 15 years ago, when I first opened the gallery, most people wore Brooks Brothers suits and wingtips. There was almost a need to project a formality in your presentation to justify what you were doing. Where now it feels much more open and free and every dealer’s got a suit on with sneakers. It does feel like there’s been a flattening of formality in a sense. And I think what we’re doing with Otto is just further flattening that formality.
See all of our newsletters, including Show Notes, here.