When I met renowned artist Laura Kimpton for the first time during Art Basel Miami Beach last month I was a bit nervous. Kimpton, whose 54-foot long metal sculptures caught the eye of a Texas development organization that commissioned, and recently unveiled in Arlington, Texas, the DREAM sculpture in it’s downtown area in an effort to support the vitality and growth of the city, is a big deal.
Kimpton’s sculptures are in demand around the world. In addition to exhibiting works for Art Basel at the famed SLS Hotel Miami Beach, she has art works in galleries in New York and abroad. Laura Kimpton, the artist, is a hot commodity right now. And so I, along with art journalists equally vying for her attention, sat in surprise when Laura announced she would start a clothing line.
From the outset I was excited to learn about the project, and, how she was handling being thrust into the spotlight. So as I sat down with Laura over eggs, avocado and toast points I took in her disposition. Laura, surrounded by her large scale installations in the courtyard, pool and garden area of the imposing hotel, was dressed in colorful prints and flowing cotton, and appeared utterly calm.
When I asked how things were going, Laura leaned in and immediately launched into her tale of an art faux-pas; promising to be two places at once. It seems the large scale sculptures dotting the surface of the hotel were all recently shipped from a gallery in New York, where they were initially promised for exhibition. But, when Art Basel calls, you answer. And luckily, Laura was able to fulfill the demands for both her gallery show in New York, as well as for Art Basel Miami Beach.
I steered the conversation towards the fashion collection. And Laura, who was full of surprises, shocked me again with her fashion concept. The debut collection titled “She’s Got Wings”, was initially inspired by the transition of menopausal women. The line offered attractive, breathable clothing options to support them through the initial changes.
The collection, an artful, colorful and unique life-style brand, featured blouses in breathable cotton and pants made from flexible fibers such as lycra, ideal for the sportswear minded generation who wants their clothing to multi-task. For instance, the pants are ideal for Yoga and their luminous eco-sustainable print, created from a painting by the artist, make them ideal for day-time wear.
To create the collection Kimpton teamed up with designer JenJen Patten of Warrior Within Designs to create the hats, shirts, tops, pants, dresses, and scarves in the collection. Everything is hand cut and sewn in California. When possible, organic fabrics, recycled materials and sustainable suppliers are used. Kimpton, who lives in Fairfax, CA, is committed to staying local and to creating a ‘Made in the USA’ fashion brand that maintains the smallest possible carbon footprint with the production process.
For the launch, the SLS hotel hosted a pop-up shop opening day of Art Basel Miami Beach for Kimpton’s artworks and fashion line.
The pieces in the collection range from $35 for t-shirts to $500 for the custom made hats which can be purchased through the Laura Kimpton website.