JeremyVille discusses the DKNY capsule collaboration

pair of black lace-up shoes near DKNY sport bra

New York based brand DKNY has launched a new capsule collection in collaboration with contemporary artist JeremyVille. The unisex pieces feature a variety of comical characters including fries with eyes, a bird-like shoe and fries with eyes. These humorous characters bring out the unique vision of the illustrator.

To further touch on the fashion brand’s NYC base, an all-over print highlights a range of iconic locations throughout the city, such as Greenwich Village and Upper West Side, which are written in playful typography. The print also features classic NYC phrases, such as “Stay alive at 9 to 5,” which is meant to be a tribute to the New Yorker lifestyle.

The Brooklyn-based, Australian-born illustrator has previously collaborated with Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Adidas and other large scale fashion brands on capsule collections. His work has been featured in a number of museums around the world, including The Andy Warhol Museum in Beijing, 798 Arts District, Beijing, and Bunkamura Gallery, Tokyo.

We talked with JeremyVille about this latest limited-edition collaboration, his working process and what keeps him motivated for every project he takes on. He says: “DKNY is the iconic brand for NYC that captures the energy and spirit of our city. My studio is located in downtown Manhattan. This city has been a constant inspiration for me over the years. I have created hundreds of artworks that reflect the spirit of NYC. It felt like a natural fit to collaborate with DKNY. We developed a design direction that felt very NYC by working closely with Megan Mair, my creative partner and the DKNY design staff.”

pair of black lace-up shoes near DKNY sport bra

Q: Are there any pieces that stand out for you in this new collection?

Accessories and jackets are my favorite. I always have a few pens and a notepad handy for quick sketches on the subway or at cafes. Anything functional, practical, and with strong design is my favorite.

Q: You have previously worked with many other major labels. How can you capture the essence of a brand while remaining true to your own style?

I’m very selective on the collaborations our studio takes on, as my main focus is on the art projects. Megan Mair is responsible for the curation and creative direction of brand collaborations. She ensures that they are in line with our studio vision and philosophy. It is important to feel a personal connection with the brand. This could be the brand’s story, its legacy, or a positive message.

Any project that grows us as a studio and allows us to expand our knowledge and realise new ideas, is a standout project and a milestone on our journey. I am so thankful for brands that are creative and intelligent.

Also, each project medium is different and requires a new set of principles to work with. My work has a consistent aesthetic. This allows me to be easily identified as Jeremyville in everything I do, from a tee-shirt to a book and animation. You must do what you do well. I don’t just do a little bit of something. I want to be an expert in it and bring something new to the table.

Q: What keeps you motivated?

To continue to grow and change as a person. To continue to learn new ways to express my ideas using new media and applications. You are only as good or better than your last project. Your best project is always ahead of you.

I’ve always been a believer in never arriving at a formula and then simply repeating it. Every project should challenge you. Each project should push you to improve your art, expand your audience, and grow as an artist as well as you personally. You can always change the pace once it becomes easy. Art is only possible when you are willing to struggle and face new challenges.

Q: How do your surroundings inspire your work?

Brooklyn Bridge during golden hour

It’s more than a world I have created. It’s a reflection of me. It’s me, as a city or a place. Anything that sparks a conversation is my favorite subject to draw and paint.

I love anything that opens up a connection with my audience or reveals something about me to myself that I didn’t know before. My art is an ongoing journey of self-discovery, revealing my truth. Every piece I create reveals something about me. My art is a conversation with myself.