In the apparel industry, there are many forms of co-branding such as ingredient, same-company, national to local, joint venture and lastly multiple sponsor c0-branding. In short, the business of co-branding is a marketing strategy that merges multiple brand names as a strategic alliance based on a good or service that aligns with both brands. More importantly, a successful fashion/art co-branding partnership many times has strategy to create brand awareness as well as sales simultaneously inviting consumers are both end to experience the rich brand culture developing together. Plain and simple, it is a hybrid. More to the point, it is a hybrid that can many times sing to the tune of millions (even billions!) of dollars.
When I speak about brand partnerships within the apparel industry, I am referring to several different types of branding collaborations. At present, luxury fashion and master artists are aligning with co-branding vibes more than ever. For example in October 2020, Louis Vuitton collaborated with six leading international artists to bring their fine craftsmanship and creative visions the house’s well known Capucines bag. The iconic french luxury brand along with the momentous power of global fashion power LVMH has created temporary artist residencies in cosmopolitan cities around the word.
Despite the distinctive differences between apparel and art, reinterpreted works by artists are very popular now being reimagined in a symbolic way for today’s consumer who fancies limited-edition pieces created by a handful of the finest luxury fashion brands relevant today.
Today, both the millennials and Gen Z generations have developing their entrepreneurial spirit to take on the fresh consumer base. One such artist is Seek One. At 28 years of age, Seek One has succeeded in building his brand to the next level in art and c0-branding. In an oversaturated art business what helped him achieve popularity is his unique style of mixed media art. In fact, it is this form of artwork that helped him develop a connection with today’s top-musicians, athletes, and celebrities-all of whom have commissioned his artwork.
His path as a contemporary street artist started with his passion for photography and graffiti art. More importantly, graffiti art has co-branded in lucrative fashion house partnerships as consumers witness a rise in streetwear originating from the shores of sunny California to the runways of Dior, Louis Vuitton and Raf Simmons.
With some encouragement for his advisors, he set out to exhibit at several gallery shows in both Philadelphia and New York City. In addition, Seek One posted his artwork on the various social media platforms to maintain and grow his business to the global audience. Soon thereafter, prominent art galleries began to take notice which helped ignite his career path moving forward. So he left the car garage where he had worked at for many years and moved into a 1200 square foot studio space and moved full throttle ahead.
To describe Seek One’s artwork from and art and fashion alignment, I would describe it as unique descriptive images that are quite often poised over splashes of bold color along with an added dose of defined dripped lines lending an air of movement.
In addition, there are wood panels wrapped in vintage newspapers and magazines, acrylics, oils, and resin all add to his unique style. The type of layering takes endless amounts of time and precision. More importantly. the artwork involves an eagle-eyed view in consideration of how the image will individually pop-out from the artwork or merge while becoming part of the overall painting process.
He enjoys working with the galleries and collectors who see his pieces as timeless images that everyone would be able to connect with. His commissions allow him to work directly with the client on the size of the piece, color and then trust in his style to finish a one of a kind. This is the most important factor in aligning with fashion consumers aiming to own a piece of art.
In speaking of co-branding, the first major attention he received was from famed rapper Quavo from the group Migos. Before he knew it, celebrities, business owners fashion designers and even NBA athletes were all interested in his work.
Currently, Seek One’s artwork is being exhibited in top art galleries from Aspen to Palm Beach to New York City and the swanky international playground for the rich and famous, The Hamptons! His art has been featured in Art Basel as well as Market Art & Design in the Hamptons- which soon led to the birth of fashion co-branding proposals.
This young painter/entrepreneur aims to expand into new markets through galleries, strategic partnerships and collaborations.
I recently had the privilege to speak with artist Seek One about how he works with collectors on custom works with a laser focus size, colors and specific images, why as an artist he treats his work like a business- crucial to succeeding in today’s world and why when it comes to luxury fashion, he views it as ever-changing – as a “street artist” he’s become attracted to higher end street wear apparel such as Saint Laurent, Amiri, Chrome Hearts & Off White!
Joseph De Acetis: Talk to Forbes about what is your unique form of style in mix-media art that has led you to connecting with a handful of popular musicians, athletes and celebrities.
Seek One: My style has a unique blend of graffiti and bright colors that have been popular with the younger demographic. Then the twist of iconic pop culture icons which have resonated with an older demographic. Together this blend of art styles has attracted collectors from all over.
My collectors also like being able to work directly with me to design the perfect piece for their home. I work with many collectors on custom works which focus on details like size, certain colors and specific images. My works are all done from scratch starting with handmade wood panels all the way to the custom epoxy finishes. Together we are able to bring their idea to reality mixing their vision and my unique style.
JD: How does menswear fashion play a significant role for an artist in the realm of dressing for success?
SO: When it comes to fashion I see it the same way as art, both take considerable time to design and produce. Both are also ever changing. As a “street artist” there is a certain style I’ve fallen into, I’ve become attracted to higher end street wear clothing in the past few years. Brands like Saint Laurent, Amiri, Chrome Hearts, Theory & Off White are all in my daily rotation. Not only is this style comfortable but it can be accepted for almost any occasion in my option.
JD: What makes your artwork unique in both the creativity as well as how you promote it?
SO: I promote my work in both tradition and non-traditional ways. My bread and butter are Instagram, my gallery partners & press. The three of these are absolutely crucial to running my business, I believe they give me the most amount of exposure across all audiences.
From a creative prospective I’ve come up with a few strategies which have excelled my exposure. Partnering with international hotel & restaurant groups like Kimpton and LDV have put my art in a unique spotlight. From staging restaurants to creating custom designs have helped push my art in a non-traditional way to new audiences. As an artist I treat my work like a business, being an entrepreneur is crucial to succeeding in today’s world.
JD: Talk to Forbes about your one-of-a-kind style in art and in menswear?
SO: As I mentioned above, I think there is clear relationship between my style of art and fashion. Both have an urban/street vibe but come from a place of quality.
JD: What is your strategy for expanding markets through fashion partnerships and co-branding with luxury brands.
SO: Ideally, I would like to collaborate with a higher end street wear brand as I believe we have similar aesthetics and consumers. I have yet to do an official collaboration but am very interested in some type of collaborative partnership in the near future. This would be another non-traditional way to grow awareness of my art while combining two things I love, art & fashion.
JD: Who is your go to brand or brands?
SO: I really like brands such as Saint Laurent, Amiri, Chrome Hearts, Theory & Off White for their modified street style.