Frieze Art Fair: Gap’s Colour Changing T-shirts

Gap have teamed up with the Frieze Art Fair and Visionaire to create colour changing t-shirts. Are these the classiest promotional t-shirts ever?

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London UK: Fashion giant Gap has teamed up with Visionaire to create a line of colour changing t-shirts for the Frieze Art Fair in New York this weekend. Artists such as Alex Katz, Yoko Ono, Richard Philips, Peter Lindberg and Roe Ethridge all contributed to the project creating t-shirts with designs that are enhanced or magnified when exposed to sunlight.

In collaboration with NY Architects Leong Leong, Gap have created two outside spaces where they can push their newest range along with the unique range of colour changing t-shirts designed with Visionaire. These spaces in Regents Park, London and Randall Island, New York will be extensions of the ‘Gap White Space Rooms’ that can be found in special flagship stores around the world.

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It’s hard to explain exactly what Visionaire is and what they do, which is summed up nicely by the New York Times: “Visionaire defies easy explanation… luminaries eagerly participate”. So, thanks for clearing that up. It is clear however that Visionaire enjoy pushing the boundaries of what is possible and in this collaboration with Gap, have maybe created the classiest line of promotional t-shirts ever.

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The special UV ink used for these colour changing t-shirts was also used in an edition of Visionaire in 2009 under the theme Solar where black and white photographs taken by famous artists turned into colour when hit by direct sunlight. The designs for these colour changing t-shirts are inspired by the themes summer, colour and sun. After the event, the t-shirts will be on sale at flagship stores around the globe including the Gap Boxpark in London.

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It’s not just colour changing t-shirts that have enjoyed recent success in the art world; Uniqlo extended their partnership with MoMA to create SPRZNY, which stands for ‘Surprise New York’ and is described as a place where ‘clothes and art meet’. British photographer David Bailey also launched a range of all over printed t-shirts that are available for a mere £70 from Selfridges with the intention of making art more accessible to the general public. Promoters of the hit TV show The Walking Dead also harnessed the power of the promotional t-shirt last week by setting up a pop up shop selling t-shirts and other merchandise in return for a donation of blood to the national blood bank.

The t-shirt is the world’s favourite piece of clothing so it is naturally a valuable commodity for marketers and events promoters to use as merchandise. As a t-shirt printing professional it’s nice to see some creative thinking going into these garments, showing how the t-shirt can be more than just fabric.

 

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