2nd Edition of ArtColLab: Stella Jean X Michael Armitage Collaboration

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is pleased to announce the second edition of ArtColLab, an initiative aimed to bring togeth- er artists from various disciplines to create one of a kind limited edition pieces with all profits going towards programming that fosters a new generation of young talents. Motivated by their passion to use culture to create bridges and to celebrate diversity through design, ArtColLab, has chosen two leading multicultural creatives — celebrated Kenyan/British artist Michael Armitage, and award-winning Italian designer of Haitian descent Stella Jean — to collaborate on this year’s collection, which launches on 22 October 2020.
Ethical practices and sustainability are at the core of the project with collaborators using eco-friendly materials wherever possible. The collection comprises of two 100% wool limited-edition sweaters, with 300 female and 150 male pieces, priced at £850/€950. The collaboration will launch on a dedicated landing page on YOOX, the world’s leading online store for fashion, design and art that last a lifetime and beyond, which has always encouraged conscious and responsible shopping. A selection of the limited edition will also be available in the bookshop of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin.

All proceeds from the sale of the pieces will benefit NCAI, Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute, a non-profit visual art space ded- icated to the growth and preservation of contemporary art in East Africa established by Michael Armitage and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, who have as a cornerstone of their work, creating opportunities for young artists and continuing to make contemporary art accessible to the public.

This exclusive collection reaffirms ArtColLab’s commitment to cultural diversity and is uniquely rooted in both the artist and de- signer’s equally distinct traditions and cultures. Both demonstrate their unique rich storytelling through their art forms with Stella Jean’s ethically sound designs and bold and colourful aesthetic, and Michael Armitage’s dreamlike palette and expressionistic style. The resulting collection captures the ethos of ArtColLab: bringing synergy into the creative industry and striving for creativ- ity without limits, through sustainable design that helps the future leaders of the art and fashion industries.

“This time, more than ever, calls for collaboration and mutual support. It has been a joy to work through ArtColLab with Stella Jean, whose distinct and socially minded creative vision embodies this ethos of collaboration and support and whose insight has been an education. We are delighted to create these sweaters together in support of NCAI and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebau- dengo.” – Michael Armitage

“When I was invited by ArtColLab to collaborate with Michael Armitage, I could not hold back my enthusiasm, because I consider Michael to be a refined and responsible witness of his time. My hope is that these wearable works of art will be able to convey the profound message of multiculturalism with which they are imbued, as a substantial part of mine and Michael’s DNA. The sweaters we designed are a demonstration of how multi-culturality applied to fashion and art can become a practical example of open dia- logue and intimate, everyday confrontation.” – Stella Jean

Notes to Editors

About | ArtColLab
ArtColLab is a non-profit project established by Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo to produce inspiring collaborations between leading contem- porary artists and designers across different creative industries including fashion and design. All the proceeds of the project directly benefit the art program and educational activities of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. The platform was launched in September 2019 with three limited edition women’s shoes created by celebrated British footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood and Canadian contemporary artist Paul Kneale. https://fsrr.org

About | Michael Armitage
Michael Armitage (b. 1984) is a Kenyan born artist currently living between London and Nairobi. His practice is concerned with the social and polit- ical issues facing contemporary society globally. The visual iconography of East Africa lies at the heart of his practice: its urban and rural landscape, colonial and modern vernacular architecture, advertising hoardings, lush vegetation and varied animal life. Beneath this rich colour palette and dream-like imagery, however, is a quiet exposition of Kenya’s sometimes harsh reality: its politics, social inequalities, violence and extreme dispari- ties in wealth. By weaving multiple narratives, drawn from the media and his native country’s mythologies, Armitage strives to emphasize the uni- versal social problems that many choose to deny. He has a firm belief that art is an agent of social change and through his captivating figurative style, he compels the viewer to take a deeper look at the content his art addresses.

About | Stella Jean
Stella Jean is an award-winning Italian designer of Haitian descent living and working in Rome, Italy. At the heart of Jean’s work is a belief in multi- culturalism and a desire for ethical fashion. Her work often merges classical Italian tailoring with features from other cultures including her own. Each SJ collection is made in collaboration with women artisans from developing countries. Working in a sustainable and ethical way, her designs promote cultural heritage as an enabler and a driver of sustainable development. She’s spoken at the Palace of the United Nations on the “Power of Empowered Women” and presented garments created in collaboration with the United Nations ethical fashion program at the World Trade Organiza- tion (WTO). In 2014, Stella Jean also presented her designs as part of the “Fashion 4 Development” project, organized in collaboration with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

About | Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is a non-profit contemporary art space in Turin, founded by Italian collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebau- dengo in 1995. Among one of the first private foundations to open in Italy, it has enabled young artists to make and present ambitious works of art for 25 years.

About | (NCAI) Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute
Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI) is a non-profit visual arts space dedicated to the growth and preservation of contemporary art in East Africa. Established in 2020, NCAI builds on a rich legacy of art projects and institutions in the region. The organization seeks to tell the stories of the artists and projects that have come to shape the region’s contemporary art scene. Through exhibitions, the development of an East African art archive, an extensive public program of talks and a multidisciplinary educational program, NCAI serves as a hub and a resource for the thriving East African art community and an inspiring cultural space for our audiences.

About | YOOX
Established in 2000, YOOX is the world’s leading online store for fashion, design and art that last a lifetime and beyond. For those who love the thrill of the find, YOOX inspires men and women around the world to express their personal style through a wide selection of well-made yet acces- sible pieces to cherish season after season. These include hard-to-find clothing and accessories for men and women from the world’s most presti- gious designers as well as kidswear, a unique selection of home design objects and exclusive collaborations with internationally-renowned artists. Encouraging conscious and responsible shopping has been central to YOOX’s philosophy since it launched 20 years ago, helping customers to be kinder to the planet by investing in fashion with longevity. In 2009 the store launched YOOXYGEN – a socially and environmentally responsible destination featuring a carefully curated edit of sustainable brands.
At the forefront of innovation, YOOX has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence in fashion, launching in 2018 its own label 8 by YOOX, the first collection ever powered by AI combined with YOOX’s unique creative flair. With YOOXMIRROR, a virtual styling suite driven by AI, YOOX offers a ground-breaking customer experience, allowing users to create their own avatar and digitally try-on looks in their app.
Available in more than 100 countries with 10 languages and 7 currencies, YOOX provides a seamless shopping experience across mobile, tablet and desktop, with easy returns and multi-lingual customer care 24/7, 365 days a year. YOOX is part of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP.