Blurring the lines between visual art and design, six artists recreate a Champion classic: the Reverse Weave Hoodie. Turning the signature garment—its name alluding to its horizontal knitting technique—from athleisure into wearable art, Benjamin Edgar provided his own take alongside five designers from across the country: Advisory Board Crystals [Abc.], Arrrtaddict, Bandulu, Gabriela Noelle and Regina Yazdi. Edgar’s “12345 All The Way Through” collection dropped as part of Champion’s Craft Series at Chicago’s streetwear boutique, Notre, during the brand’s multi-city nationwide tour.
Besides using clothing as his canvas, the Chicago-based artist, maker and design entrepreneur has kept busy at the crossroads of the physical and the digital with An Object Company, th-oughts, a reimagined approach to traditional education, cultural blog The Brilliance and Boxed Water, a company he founded to provide an alternative to wasteful plastic bottles. And he keeps going. His secret? “My endless curiosity,” he says. “It’s something I can’t really help—it’s just who I am.” He talks about his latest drop and the concept behind it, his future plans and the reason why his crewnecks went for sale at $0.01.
Tell us about your latest drop at Notre and the concept behind it. What does “12345 All The Way Through” mean and how did Navillus Woodworks help bring this to life?
The project was a collaboration with Champion Reverse Weave under their recently launched Craft Series with the idea of giving younger brands like myself the ability to create something that may not be as scalable commercially, a place to live within the context of their classic sweatshirts. A lot of the ideas within my work revolve around process and narrative. In this instance I used my “all the way through” framework, which is about great design not having a veneer, both literally and figuratively. I’ve worked with Navillus on projects over the years and on this one they helped by creating a shipping crate of sorts that was used as the centerpiece in the collection. To better illustrate the literal perforation of the garment, archery arrows were made to go through these perforations and then into the shipping crate for a more theatrical effect.
I heard that the crewnecks were for sale at $0.01 during the launch event. What was the idea behind the price?
I suppose I enjoy things being accessible and I also like the idea of exaggerating elements of a given object. In this instance, I exaggerated the accessibility by effectively making them free. Beyond that, the larger idea was to take the $75-$125 that a customer may have spent on the garment and instead use that to perhaps purchase a blank garment and explore it as their own blank canvas. I love the idea of people starting their own thing.
You describe An Object Company as “a framework that delights via the useful and useless while allowing its creator to continue to learn, develop and play.” Where do you look for inspiration?
My inspiration is, for better or worse, my endless curiosity. It’s something I can’t really help—it’s just who I am. I think curiosity is a fountain of youth in a lot of ways.
What are you most excited about moving forward?
I’m honestly just quite thrilled that this project, the Object Company, has gone from a bit of a sandbox for me to play in to a real business with opportunities to work with Champion, Rimowa and other brands I’ve looked up to for so long. I also have a couple pairs of shoes coming out this fall that I’ve been working on with Vans for a little over a year that I’m specifically excited about.
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