Futura has been tagging around the world for decades, whether it be on trains, walls, canvas or clothes. The latter of the group resulted in a fashion collab with the famed Crooks & Castles streetwear brand, for which the celebrated graffiti guru designed a whole collection, dedicated to the deceased marketing manager of the company and a friend, Christopher LEWDS Natalio. Futura has been very busy designing merchandise recently, as he was named the art director of the US National Team for the World Cup occasion as well.
Creating the unique design for the collection, Futura was lead by the Crooks’ recognizable street and hip hop aesthetics, while giving it a personal stylistic touch and a signature. LEWDS collection is both an homage to an important Crooks’ family member and a fantastic new lineup of stylish, wearable items.
Futura was a friend of the late Lewds and when approached by the Crooks & Castles crew to contribute to collection, he immediately agreed. Collaboration with the famous brand was more at an inspirational level, as the artist submitted his designs, works and proposals and left to the fashion design crew to melt it together with the wearable pieces. Novel materials and the bucket hat have proved the perfect foundation for Futura’s abstract designs.
Although the artist perceives world of streetwear and street art as parallel, he did get caught in the crossroads, where the two creative realms merge. Objectively, these type of collaborations are hardly a novelty, as Crooks & Castles will surely continue the artist collection practice. Explaining his stance on the connections between street art and fashion, Futura said in an interview given to Hypebeast, he sees this designing endeavor as tagging. It’s a signature, but it’s also a tag, and this will not change in essence. As he sees graffiti art as a form of self-promotion from its very beginnings, there is no conflict in self-promoting while tagging T-shirts or caps. It’s all the same type of expression wrapped in differently. When understood as a natural progression of street art, designing for commercial goods, such as streetwear, lights up a new perspective.
However, besides the obviously commercial aspect of such ventures, Futura pointed out it’s important to stay true to the roots. Following his own ideas and creative urges was always the imperative of the graffiti master, as he was developing his spray-canned abstractions over the years. The same values go for the brand Crooks & Castles, as they honor and respond to hip hop culture, while retaining relations with real figures from their own lives, people who surround them, who are important to them.
Finally, discussing his appointment as an art director for the USA National Team at the ongoing World Cup, Futura mentioned honor once again. It’s easily concluded that honor is the key ingredient in paying an homage to either an early deceased and beloved friend or a team that represents the country one stands behind. Futura does it the best way he can - by expressing himself in his recognizable abstract art inevitably tied to the street.