As part of the label’s Drop Shop initiative, the Melbourne-based creative’s collaborative collection brings positivity and light to these bleak times
It’s pretty hard to remember the feeling of diving headlong into immersive art when we’ve been staring at the same print in our bedroom for the past 37,958 days. But in the last year, Melbourne-based contemporary artist Mysterious Al has made a lot of work. Taking paper collage and transforming it into murals and sculpture, the London-born creative is currently planning a multi-sensory ghost train experience at a secret location in Melbourne – based on a re-imagined fairground, no less.
While you might not be able to travel to see the artist’s sculptures and murals IRL, Mysterious Al is the latest creative to team up with Tommy Hilfiger for a limited edition collaboration, as part of new initiative Tommy’s Drop Shop.
Following successful collabs with the likes of Zendaya and Gigi Hadid, Hilfiger launched Tommy’s Drop Shop in December to tap fresh perspectives from fashion-adjacent creatives, bringing a youthful creative energy to the brand. Previous collaborators include the UK’s favourite bootlegger Sportsbanger, Berlin-based artist and creative director, Mago, and London graphic designer Studio Zome.
Dropping on February 12, the Mysterious Al collection features t-shirts and hoodies inspired by the artist’s recent practice: creating abstracted faces in bold colours and shapes to explore the multitudes of emotion they can express. Also bearing upbeat slogans like “You Are Amazing”, and “Good Energy”, the pieces are designed to bring positivity and lightness to, let’s face it, the darkest of times. But bright print and cartoon eyes aside, there’s deeper meaning behind the collection, says the designer.
“My work has different subtexts depending on how you look at it. On the surface it’s bright, colourful and fun – but look closer and you’ll see a melancholy aspect or a sort of vulnerability to it,” he says. “I kept this element in my work for Tommy, but also wanted to give a real positive energy to the collection. I added positive messaging and emojis (I love emojis) to make everything positive and fun. We all need a little more of that at the moment.”
The hoodies and t-shirts combine Mysterious Al’s abstract faces with the Tommy Jeans logo and graffiti tagging in a nod to the artist’s street art roots (he started out in the 2000s with wall paintings and paste ups, counting Banksy and D*face as contemporaries). Now, the artist is excited to be working with Tommy and showcasing his designs via a new medium. “It’s so cool to collaborate with such a cultural juggernaut of a streetwear brand. It’s always fun to see where our worlds collide; where their iconic designs meet my art style – I think it worked really well.”