Over the last decade, Brian Donnelly – the artist better known as KAWS– has turned from a tagger who fascinates the entire streetwear industry into a million-strong sophisticated artist, sought after by luxury fashion labels, prestigious galleries and large retailers. His works of art have jumped from the top skate decks Dior sweaters and bags. (Not to mention: one of his paintings sold for a record $ 14.8 million — and the buyer was strong hearing to be Justin Bieber.) One longtime collaborator who remains steadfast throughout his rocket-like ascent is the Comme des Garçons. And now the two have reunited to produce the first fragrance of its kind, filled with a high-design bottle adorned with one of the artist’s most famous characters.
The musky floral fragrance, called “Mirror”, contains notes of turmeric leaves, neroli oil, orange blossom and rich woody cashmere. “Inspired by the multifaceted practice of KAWS,” the official press release said, without much further explanation. It is fair to assume that the bottle is the real attraction of the collaboration. The clear glass design features the artist’s favorite character, Sputnik – or, more specifically, the character who seems to be drowning in a pool of blood, with his hands just above the surface. The fragrance will be available on October 14 through the Comme des Garçons, Dover Street Market and some select boutiques around the world.
In 2021 alone, KAWS will count the brand’s collaboration with Nike and Sacai, Supreme, Human Made and Porter. “For me,” he said GQ in a profile for 2019. Everything is the same – there is no difference between any of the projects I do. “Over the years, the artist has borrowed his name and works of clothing, accessories, toys and figurines, sunglasses, sneakers, teapots and even augmented reality applications. (All the while showing off his larger-than-life sculptures and creating a feverish search for his paintings.) In some ways, it feels almost surprising that he has never produced an original fragrance before. A decade ago, it would have felt unimaginable for a graffiti artist to collaborate in a cologne with a fashion label. Yet in today’s collaborative and commodity-oriented retail environment, it feels nominal for the course. And you can thank KAWS for that.