Wales Bonner launches a limited-edition capsule collection in collaboration with the American artist Kerry James Marshall in support of Study and Struggle, a Mississippi-based organization that strives to build a world beyond prisons through political education, community building, and mutual aid.
The capsule consists of two t-shirts printed on organic cotton, one of which features new artwork by the master painter created exclusively for the collaboration – described by the artist as “an iconic emblem that requires no translation”. The second t-shirt reproduces a detail from Marshall’s 1993 painting ‘’Lost Boys: AKA Black Sonny’’, part of his ‘’Lost Boys’’ series.
These seminal works reference J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, in which the author depicts a band of boys roaming Neverland unwilling to grow up. In contrast, Marshall’s portraits are a tribute to Black lives lost in the American system, adolescents never granted the opportunity to grow up and realize their potential.
“It is a profound honor to collaborate with Kerry James Marshall on this capsule collection – an artist whose practice was foremost in my mind when I first conceived of Wales Bonner in 2014. The brand was established as a means to bring an Afro-Atlantic spirit to European notions of luxury. By so elegantly centralizing the Black figure in his work, Kerry showed me just how different things could be, how ideals of beauty can be challenged, and how it is possible to gracefully infiltrate the canon and change it from within”, said Grace Wales Bonner.