Ben and I don’t always agree on everything. There’s The Hundreds, of course, and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, and breakfast burritos. But he collects watches and I hate jewelry. He’s got more friends than Facebook, and my friend is Facebook. He grew up on gangster rap and I took him to Bjork’s exhibition at the MoMA where his eyeballs rolled so fast that he knocked himself off balance.
But we both love the artist Kenny Scharf. We love that he’s a street artist without falling neatly into any graffiti category. Kenny has an illustrious history in the gallery scene, yet his work still easily crosses over to the everyday onlooker. We’re drawn to his signature color palette, his appropriation of popular cartoons, and his lightheartedness. In light of his recent collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Jeremy Scott for adidas, and Kiehl’s, we knew that if we were to ever work with the painter on a project, the time was now.
It wasn’t that easy. In fact, we were flat-out clueless as to how to connect with the artist on a collaboration. Dead end after the next, we had all but given up, until we were boarding a flight and the girl in front of us asked if we were from The Hundreds. A simple conversation about work and careers excavated the fact that she represented an artist named Kenny Scharf; and then, what had seemed improbable for years, was suddenly happening.
That’s not the end of the story. You see, just because two parties agree on a collaboration doesn’t mean it sees the light of day. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t (Do all your dates end in relationships?). There are contracts to spoil the mood, percentages to fuss about, distribution conflicts, and greatest of all, creative differences. But working with Kenny resulted in none of these things. On the contrary, he was eagerly involved from start to finish, gladly hand painting original art for this project, critiquing the apparel design, and even participating in the lookbook. What we get is a camping-inspired collection employing a unique Kenny Scharf repeating camouflage pattern that he painted directly onto canvas. The cut-n-sew is reversible to play on both the serious and playful nature of our joint work. There’s a poncho that converts into a tent, and yes, there’s even a Kenny Scharf-painted Adam Bomb.
The Hundreds by Kenny Scharf is the definition of collaboration. The result is one-of-a-kind, yet uniquely both Kenny and The Hundreds. I photographed the lookbook (minus the accessories) featuring Nate Sells, rapper Alexander Spit, and the artist himself on a rainy afternoon at Kenny Scharf’s studio in Los Angeles.
Available Friday, May 22nd, exclusively in the U.S. at The Hundreds LA, The Hundreds SF, The Hundreds NY, The Hundreds Santa Monica, and The Hundreds Online Shop. The collection will also be stocked overseas at Colette, Paris, and Caliroots.
Shop online HERE.