Welcome to the jungle! I had the privilege of visiting the studio of Hunt Slonem for his collaboration with Echo Design this week. The renowned artist is famous for his tropical hued works of parrots and rabbits.
The accessory group Echo Design is known for mid-priced fashion forward accessories across many categories. While they were always trend-driven, they wanted to do collaboration with an artist. It turns out that executives were friends of a friend of Slonem and the rest was on display at his studio.
The studio was huge, with an aviary in the back housing his large bird collection. Open plan rooms were filled with eclectic furniture and photos of his celebrity and society friends. There was the famous “Bunny Wall” a popular motif that most of his fans associate with his work. The mass collections of bunny works are actually an artistic exercise for him to practice his technique. Many art professors will teach that repetition and meditation is a key tool to mastering your work. It turns out; brushstroke rabbits translate very well into a fashion print.
Hunt Slonem has always been inspired by nature. He chased butterflies in Nicaragua, grew orchids in Hawaii and of course his very vocal parrots on site. My cousin and I were a little disappointed that we did not find a collection of bunnies to hop around with, but one has to stop somewhere.
The Echo Design collection itself consists of several scarf designs and tote bags. Scarves were produced in several sizes, some large enough to be worn as a simple dress. The colors reflected the vibrant hues of the artist’s work. The prints included Hunt Slonem’s butterflies and his famous rabbits.
I could see this collection selling at galleries and museums. However Echo Design is staying true to its fashion and department store customer base, they are just bringing a bit of art into the mix.
photos by Mariana Leung