The Spanish artist shares the hopeful message behind her new collaboration with the Singapore fashion brand
Coco Capitán has always had a way with words. The Spanish artist established herself through her handwritten artworks, using child-like scrawls to convey sentiments ranging from witty to contemplative.
Her aphorisms were famously amplified by her collaborations with Gucci—they appeared on hoodies, bags, and walls in Milan and New York—and now, once again, Capitán’s art is rendered wearable through her new capsule collection for Charles & Keith.
For starters, Capitán has added a twist to the Singapore fashion brand’s cult-favourite Perline Penny Loafers, an androgynous style marked by chunky soles and a square toe. Now they also come adorned with embroidered daisies, as well as Capitán’s play on the words from the flower-picking game, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.
There are even more dreamy blooms to be found on the Double Handle Sculptural Tote Bag, an everyday style that features a boxy shape and rounded corners. On one side, the black bag is stitched with a hopeful message from Capitán.
“My art is inspired by overheard conversations, diary entries, and sudden waves of introspection,” said Capitán. “I believe that words can transcend cultures and give us a glimmer of hope for brighter times.”
Indeed, while her Charles & Keith collection is both pretty and practical, its appeal also lies in its mood-boosting effects. Below, the artist tells us more about the inspiration for her designs, and how she would wear the accessories herself.
What made you decide to collaborate with Charles & Keith?
Coco Capitán (CC): I was given total freedom to reinterpret two of their items in any way I found interesting.
What do you appreciate about the brand?
CC: I love the fact that most of their collaborators are women. Their design is elegant, smart and coherent with their ideas. It has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Charles & Keith, the team has been incredibly supportive of my ideas.
Do you consider the collaboration as fashion, art, or both?
CC: I try for all my collaborations to feature my creativity. This is of course a fashion project, but I intended to incorporate my art within it.
What was the starting point for your collaboration?
CC: Originally I thought of incorporating my photography into the project, I wanted the shoes to feature one of my pictures of olive trees, which are so characteristic of the Tramuntana, the mountains which surround the city where I live. But I ultimately decided to go with a piece of text and talk about flowers growing in asphalt and my blue daisies, as I felt this was a message that most people would find easier to relate to.
On the Perline Penny Loafers, you added the text: “Loves Me Blue, Love Me Blue Not.” What does the colour blue represent to you?
CC: Blue is my colour. It is the colour of the water and the sky, it represents how life is a fluid experience just like water. It remains me that everything is in permanent transition and part of a circular cycle, just like the water cycle.
Why did you decide to feature daisy motifs?
CC: I wanted to create a message of optimism. This is why I chose to talk about a wild flower growing in concrete. It seems incredible to me that nature still manages to grow in big cities, despite how difficult we make it for them. For me, this is an observation that carries hope within it. Every time I see a flower growing in a crack of concrete in the pavement I am reminded of the strength of plants and nature.
How would you style the Perline Penny Loafers? When and where would you wear them?
CC: I see these items working very well in a smart/casual context, such as the office. I would wear them with jeans, shirt and blue matching socks and tie.
Coco Capitán x Charles & Keith is launching on July 13. Sign up for early access here.