This month, it's more important than ever that you resist the temptation to spend all your cash on payday, because PUMA has collaborated with British artist Shantell Martin on a new collection. Now working out of New York, Shantell is kind of a big deal; her portfolio includes work with Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick is "awesome") and Refinery29’s very own 29 Rooms as well as several seriously impressive solo exhibitions and residencies.
Martin’s creativity was shaped over her childhood in southeast London. Her work represents a playful freedom that is in stark contrast to the traditional art scene but in fact, she says it wasn't something she considered growing up. "I always thought [being an artist] was reserved for very lucky people or rich kids," she told R29. "Growing up mixed-race in a very racist, homophobic area was an initiation out into the world."
Over the years, she has become known for her whimsical black and white squiggles, stick men and faces. She says she uses her work as a vehicle to bridge a connection between fine art, performance art and everyday life. The most common reaction she has to her work is a smile. "I think my work brings positive stuff into a space," she said.
This ethos is immediately apparent in this new collab, which features classic PUMA styles adorned with Martin’s signature monochromatic illustrations. The 20-piece collection is a lighthearted mix of athleisure and sartorial tailoring (with added stick figures). Think graphic tees paired with tapered trousers layered under crisp, semi-opaque raincoats and flatform trainers. Taglines of "Do Less, Be More" and "Find Your Way" run across the pieces.
“It was cool being able to apply my artistic DNA to iconic PUMA silhouettes," she says. "But what I particularly loved about the project was hiding little messages throughout the product offering to make something truly unique.”
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