Canny collaborations: Rimowa X Art

Canny collaborations: Rimowa X Art
Candice Phang's The Garden of Puffs suitcase by Rimowa. It is a whimsical depiction of Singapore flora and fauna.

German premium label Rimowa is known not only for its grooved suitcases but also for working with designers to put their personal touches on them.

Next week, it will launch its inaugural Pop Art collaboration in Singapore. At its store at Mandarin Gallery, the 12 designs by six homegrown personalities and six up-and-coming creative individuals will be on display.

The six personalities include fashion designers Keith Png and Kevin Seah, fashion photographer Geoff Ang, radio personality Rosalyn Lee, homegrown coffee purveyor Leon Foo, and stylist Willabelle Ong.

The six creative individuals are multidisciplinary artist Dee Chia, founder of Singapore Instagram @SGIG Ivan Kuek; Colin Chen, a founder of The General Company, advertising creative Wang Yuhui, and illustrator Candice Phang and aspiring tattoo artist Lee Wai Leng, who is better known as FleeCircus,

All the 12 designers had to encapsulate bits of Singapore into their suitcases to mark the country's 50th Golden Jubilee.

Rimowa's marketing and communications manager Mikeller Ho says, "Rimowa X Art is the fruition of celebrating creativity using our iconic grooved Topas case as a canvas. We have selected six renowned homegrown personalities like Geoff Ang, who are forerunners in their own respective industry, as well as six local up-and-coming creative individuals like Candice Phang. Each of them had to design on a Topas case, with their take on SG50."

Ms Phang titled her suitcase Garden of Puffs, as she wanted it to be a tribute to the country being known as the Garden City.

"The Garden of Puffs is a whimsical depiction of our flora and fauna. The fluffy and floral creatures that live in this garden portray happiness and are brought to life by the garden's Chief, Mer-puff-lion," she says. She uses a mixture of industrial and acrylic paint to create her piece.

Mr Png was inspired by the Singapore Armed Forces and selected a camouflage print with silver studs. The studs he says, represent the strength of Singapore's Defence Force.

Meanwhile, Mr Seah created an inner lining of a 19th-century print of old Singapore made for the interior of the suitcase.

Besides putting the 12 suitcases on show at the Mandarin Gallery from June 25 to July 30, the suitcases by the six personalities will also be on sale at S$5,000 each. Proceeds of the sales will go towards non-governmental organisation, Mercy Relief.

On working with an international brand, Ms Phang says, "because of the international recognition of the brand, it makes the collaboration an excellent platform for exposure. Even so, we should not neglect the new and upcoming brands, be it local or not. Collaborative efforts always make a personal journey a lot more exciting and that's where you learn of things that may be out of your comfort zone."

This article was first published on June 13, 2015.
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