When the American art and apparel brand New York Sunshine wanted to reflect the intensity of its 2017 summer clothing collection, it looked to a conceptual solution. In conceiving the layout of a pop-up shop in which to exhibit the new range, there was only one material that could do the fashion justice - concrete, of course!
New York Sunshine was founded by multidisciplinary artist John Margaritis. He’s the man behind numerous Miami Art Week installations, such as 2016’s ‘Hoop Dreams’, which involved partly immersing a basketball hoop in the ocean just off the coast of Miami Beach. A year before that his ‘High Tide’, a collection of T-shirts hung in a wave formation through a 130-foot passage, their colour coordination (from white to shades of light and then dark blue) mirroring movement from a foamy shoreline into deep indigo-coloured seawater.
These installations are indicative of the creativity behind the New York Sunshine brand. Essentially, the clothing explores the intersection between various parts of American urban and sporting culture, and specifically the culture of New York. Speaking to stabmag.com, Margaritis explains: “We’re looking to fill in the gaps between surfing, basketball, fashion and street culture. That’s what New York is to us.”
New York Sunshine exhibited its 2017 summer collection (comprising T-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts and accessories) in an underground pop-up shop located in Southampton, New York. As the clothing designs were meant to serve as a subtle throwback to the aggressive surf style of 1990s, the exhibition’s architectural surroundings needed to be appropriate.
While the space’s existing white brick walls and concrete floor might have been enough to achieve the bold and intense aesthetic sought by the brand, Margaritis decided to go a few steps further. He used a series of 130-kilogramme concrete shelves, suspended from the ceiling by steel chains, as displays for his merchandise. What’s more, he constructed a 200-kilogramme installation, the ‘Foundation Chair’, made of formed concrete, welded steel and triple-laminated tempered glass.
With these conceptual additions, the resulting pop-up shop perfectly reflected the designer’s desire to emphasise the raw, brazen and unflinching aesthetic he’d incorporated into his clothing line.
Photography: Ryan Moore