Elizabeth Hilfiger isn’t trying to create another fashion brand. The 23-year-old launched her debut line Foo and Foo (a nickname given as a child) earlier this year, with the sole intention of creating an art-focused streetwear brand. She’d been mulling over the concept for nearly a decade before that.
“I knew I wanted to start a brand but the idea of creating yet another fashion line didn’t feel right. The market doesn’t need it,” she tells CR. “I wanted to find value in the work and had the idea of creating a place that is both brand and interactive with content – something truly alive.”
The heart of Foo and Foo lies not only in the clothing (an intentionally affordable range of hand dyed vests, tees and pierced hoodies) but also in Hilfiger’s low-key collaborations. Her latest creative partnership is with Chicago-born artist—and long-time Gosha Rubchinskiy collaborator—Julian Klincewicz, who she met in LA while on a skate trip.
Klincewicz —who is currently on tour with Jay-Z—is reluctant to say that the long-distance design process was easy by any means: “I sort of overworked myself this year, so it took me a long time to be able to get anything together, especially because I wanted whatever we did to be a really good medium between what I would normally do, and what she would do— I think we got it though!”
Having cemented the collaboration through a series of texts and e-mails, the two created a seamlessly digital partnership, something that Klincewicz emphasises was full of “genuine excitement and curiosity”. The artist—who has also worked with Kanye West, in what he excitedly recalls as “one of the most amazing experiences”—remained equally as enthused about working with Hilfiger, “What she’s doing is really new, interesting and special, so I was just excited to get to be a small part of that somehow.”
And the result? An ultra-simplistic two t-shirt line centred around a childlike flower image (something Klincewicz remains drawn to and inspired by for its natural “stillness and serenity”).
“The concept is about black and white. The white t-shirt is the simple thick quality boxy tee and the black is thinner and a more complex vision of the flower,” Hilfiger says. “There is harmony: yin and yang, black and white, we are boy and girl.”
With a thoughtful approach to each and every design—as well as a growing Rolodex of collaborators that include close friend Adwoa Aboah and Georgia May Jagger—you could be mistaken for thinking that Hilfiger could be trying to build a fashion empire like that of her family’s namesake brand – but you’d be wrong.
The brand’s manifesto proudly declares “Foo loves clothes, but doesn’t really care about them” which would explain why Hilfiger has put all of her creative energy in to the brand’s low-fi y2k aesthetic and artistic collaborations rather than vying for a high-profile runway show or getting her clothes on to the backs of the Hadids. For now she’s happy keeping it low-key and “following her instincts” (priceless advice given to her by her father).
“I initially started by sending some of my hoodies with functional piercings to a few friends all over the world, and they then turned them into collaborative shoots and videos,” Hilfiger says, referring to the now-archived and soon-to-be-cult short films produced by Foo and Foo. (Take a look at How to Kidnap Ally and Raf by NY artist Alexandra Marzella and you won’t regret it.) “It’s all just a part of my attempt to combine fashion and art—it’s kind of my OCD dream.”
Klincewicz x FOOANDFOO is now available online.