In the wake of an unprecedented global event, we join a progressive generation of changemakers rising up with a punk attitude today to optimistically create a better tomorrow. Reflecting this, legendary contemporary artist Yoshitomo Nara sets the tone for our Stella McCartney Shared Spring Summer 2021 unisex capsule. Fluent in the style of youth in revolt and considered a pioneering father of the Japanese neo-Pop movement, this marks his first-ever fashion collaboration – with the full collection available to shop online now.
Today’s youth are naturally open-minded and fluid with gender. Their punk attitude towards the status quo directly inspired my collaboration with living legend Yoshitomo Nara. Much like his artwork, this generation is using self-expression to affect social change.
Bridging art, subculture and street culture, Nara has been exhibited globally over his 36-year career. His directional work expresses resistance and rebelliousness valorising a punk perspective of non-conformity, free thought and individuality – personified by wide-eyed, big-headed cartoonish cherubs who are simultaneously adorable yet sinister. Though these children and their toy-like knives may evoke a sense of fear, in reality Nara believes it is adults with larger tools of destruction that should be seen as dangerous.
When I see young people who have an opinion on things in the world that they think are wrong, fight for what they believe in like Greta Thunberg and the solidarity of those individuals, I have a huge respect for them and admire their spirit of not relying on adults and capital. And I want to be a part of it.
Loneliness is a recurring theme in Nara’s life, from growing up in rural Japan to his time as a student in Germany in the 1990s, where he developed his signature aesthetic synthesising Japanese and Western pop culture – influenced by everything from anime and manga to Disney films. With a lifelong love of foreign album covers, it was during this solitary period that he formed his affinity for punk rock. Through music and art, Nara found community.
Now, we are bringing his global community and ours together. Stella Shared x Yoshitomo Nara pieces are a wearable gallery allowing access to our values and his vision. Collectable items curate his art, immediately recognisable across graphic coordinated sets and organic cotton tops decorated with his irreverent illustrations of animalistic children and iconic slogans like “We are punks”, “Change the history” and “Don’t waste another day!”