Iconic mascot costumes from US brands The New York Mets, Dunkin' Donuts, Hersheys, Geico, Taco Bell & New York Liberty (Women's NBA) are making an unexpected appearance as one of the ‘art installations’ in a high-brow fashion design exhibiton being held at Parson's, the prestigious New York design college on 5th Avenue.
Mascots in a fashion exhibition? It’s happening as part of the Parson's exhibition ‘Workwear’ : an exhibiton which explores workwear as a uniform for success in New York City, and it's wider legacy in American fashion. The artists behind the eyebrow-raising mascot display are UK-based creative team ‘Rebecca & Mike’, and their display sits alongside contributions by other well-known artists and designers.
Whilst the humor in Rebecca & Mike's mascot display is acute, they are quick to point out that there is some serious thinking at the root of it all:
“This exhibition is about exploring the theme of workwear and it’s relation to doing business in New York. The costumes displayed in this exhibition are presented as an extreme form of workwear. More than any other kind of workwear, mascot costumes are embedded with aspects that are at the heart of commercial success; product, marketing, sales and branding. And these costumes ‘do business’ by entirely immersing the worker, removing their identity pretty-much completely and creating a totally fictional role for them to play out; typically as fleeting moments of street theatre. Surprisingly, their construction techniques are also highly adept. This isn’t the kind of thing people would expect to find in an exhibition like this, which is the whole point, it’ll make people look again, and more importantly, think again... and smile.”
Rebecca & Mike are an independent UK-based creative artist/designer team. Projects have included work with John Galliano, Nike, Hussein Chalayan, MTV and Playstation. Their work is characterized by pure and uncompromised ideas that are entertaining, intelligent and playful.
‘Workwear’ can be seen at:
Arnold & Sheila Aronson Galleries
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parson’s New School of Design
66 5th Avenue at 13th St