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Sunday, May 4, 2008

The fourth and final installment from item idem on his SWAP collaboration with Andrea Crews collective...

Looking back, I can say with certainty that we accomplished our mission with SWAP, to express ideas and images through a combination of media: a pop-up shop, a window display, products, performances and blogs. SWAP even appeared in the Fashion Scoops section of Women's Wear Daily, featuring the final state as a window installation at colette. Yet, ironically, these successes might have unraveled the entire SWAP enterprise, because that same window was taken down a day early, following a polite request from Louis Vuitton, who apparently didn't like our reappropriation of their bags.

Far from an attack on Louis Vuitton's image or logotype, the SWAP project was merely an attempt to share ideas through art and fashion. For the six of its seven scheduled days, the window was extremely popular, drawing reactions of all kinds. I remember Andie MacDowell passing by and taking pictures with her mobile phone, while a few minutes later, an elderly woman denounced the window as very ugly. Personally, I am never that interested in good versus bad; I am more focused on the background noise and the intensity of reactions, whatever they may be. I believe this is what the artistic endeavor is all about, to provoke vivid emotions and engender new ways of thinking. Still, despite the early dismantling, Hint remains a fantastic window to express how pleasantly surprised I am to attract Louis Vuitton's attention with our humble project, yet also disappointed that passersby couldn't enjoy SWAP on the last day.

I'd like to thank all the actors and partners of the SWAP project for their generous participation, especially Sarah from colette, whose positive attitude and affection for experimentation is a model for us all. SWAP will be back!




Photos by Baudouin

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