Graffiti Artist Mr. Andre on His New Feminist-Friendly Uniqlo Collab
The campaign for the T-shirt collection stars the artist's young daughter.
Championing women's rights continues to be in style.
Paris-based graffiti artist Andre Saraiva, better known by the name Mr. Andre, has collaborated with Uniqlo on a limited-edition, feminist-friendly capsule collection of graphic tees for women and girls featuring his signature "Mr. A" character for the brand's UT collection.
Saraiva got his start in the late 1980s, and has since tagged his infamous grinning character more than 300,000 times. His work has been featured in museums and galleries throughout the world, leading to collaborations with such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Sonia Rykiel and even Levi's.
But when it comes to his latest collaboration, with fast fashion giant Uniqlo, there's more to it than meets the eye. Pret-a-Reporter spoke with Mr. Andre about the collection (available today in stores and online for $10-$15) and its deeper political meaning in the context of the women's rights movement, as well as his daughter Henrietta's appearance in the ad imagery.
How did the collaboration come about? Why Uniqlo?
Uniqlo's art director Nigo asked me to be a part of the project, and I naturally said yes. For a long time I’ve thought of Uniqlo as an amazing brand. They've always done cool collaborations with other artists, and most importantly they are very accessible to everyone.
Is there a theme to the collection?
The theme is the idea that we are part of the same world. I’ve lived in Paris, New York, Tokyo and L.A., and even though those are cities in different countries, I feel they are all part of one big nation.
You’ve been vocal about your interest in women’s rights and politics on Instagram — do these graphics have a political message?
Yes — the message is about us all being united as one world, so someday I hope the borders will disappear. I was really happy to do the collection for kids and young girls — myself being the dad of a little girl (who modeled for the campaign). Women have always been a big part of my life and an inspiration. I think we should all be equal, so Uniqlo’s Made for All brand mission made them the perfect partner for this project.
You’ve done a few fashion collaborations now. Back when you were starting out as a graffiti artist, did you imagine yourself getting involved in fashion?
Graffiti and fashion have always been very related for me. When I started to do graffiti, I was always very interested in what was going on in the fashion world. Very early on I started to paint t-shirts and jackets, so clothing became a very important surface to use to express myself.
Any favorite piece from the collection?
I love them all.