George Monroe Double-sided Gift Wrap
Size: 30 Square Feet / 76.2 cm x 3.05 m
Inspiration Notes for George:
Elevated "shadows & scribbles" describes the mood and capacity of the George design. Much like modern Black art, George pulls you in, sparks curiosity and inquiry and ignites much needed conversations. George draws from the beauty and abstract works of the Masters including Frank Wimberley and Jean-Michel Basquiat and the newcomers like Bronx-native Patrick Alston. Let's talk about the taboo, let's have the uncomfortable conversations and discover the new possible.
Inspiration Notes for Monroe:
Much like Zeph, Monroe is a monochromatic stripe design. Unlike the crude lines of Zeph, Monroe's form is linear and exacting much like the man that serves as the inspiration.
As a brand FOLKUS, examines the prism of Blackness and in this case Monroe symbolizes the subtle almost accidental sublime cultural impact of Blackness on mainstream culture specifically fashion. Fashion can be a profound personal expression, yet we live in a world centered around mass standardized sartorial choices. So how is Blackness a factor and what does it have to do with the Monroe design.
For starters color packs a lot of meaning. When someone says "Tiffany Box Blue" a striking shade of turquoise forms in your subconscious, rarely will you hear someone say robin egg blue. When you study the Monroe design it harkens a resemblance to the Adidas brand. Black New York youth put the indigo blue box and 3 stripes on the map --first on the subway map growing popularity across the 5 boroughs and ultimately on the global stage as a critical component of the hip hop uniform -- sheepskins, name plates, Kangols and "my Adidas". The adoption of shell toe Adidas sneaker by Black youth forever changed the trajectory of the Adidas brand. Black youth stylized the shell toe sneaker in 2 ways: 1.) The Run DMC style -- no laces tongue out and 2.) Wide thick laces to form a slide. Black youth sought out the wide thick laces to exaggerate scale and to transform the functionality of shell toes from athletic footwear to the sensibility of a driving moccasin enabling the wearer to slip-on or slip-off the sneaker with ease. In 1986, those choices made by Black youth took the blue Adidas box + 3 stripes from the fringes to the mainstream.
Aside from colors, the layering of patterns in particular stripes is the foundation of African textile design often forming fanciful geometric 'scapes as seen in the modern Monroe interpretation. The abstract mix of stripes, colors and proportion found in African designs has also made it's way into the mainstream of textile design as the "tribal" category.
Monroe was designed by Kate Kosek, a New York artist that spent 10 years evolving through various mediums as a painter, muralist and now a MFA student studying textile design at Georgia State. When Folkus discovered Kate's work something about it screamed Ndebele. In 2014, Kate's work caught the attention of Australian brand Gorman. Kate's "bizzy" colorful geometric patterns landed in the November 2014 issue of Australian Vogue in an "Out of Africa" spread.