A Comprehensive Discussion With Aaron Maldonado of Brigade
“Brigade” x “Adam Zafrian”: Inside Their Groundbreaking Collaboration
Groundead had the opportunity to sit down with Aaron Maldonado, owner and creative genius behind Brigade USA, gaining exclusive, inside access to his upcoming collaboration.
Connecting with Adam Zafrian, an artist known for his abstract, expressionist style, their goal was to transform “Brigade’s aesthetic into a metaphorical gallery that would allow [them] to display [Adam’s] art in a chic, but versatile manner”.
Both hailing from NYC, they quickly combined each of their respective talents and produced one of the best capsules this industry has ever seen.
Available on May 10th, this capsule consists of three, key-pieces to keep an eye out for:
Our favorite is by far the Jigsaw Puzzle; a 50×70 cm, 500 piece brain-teaser that redefines interactive art.
Fastest completion rumored at 7hours ($52)
Not only does this offer a fun, engaging way to spend time, upon completion you’ll reward yourself with a brand new addition of art that is ready to be framed.
The second piece plays around with Brigade’s idea of a ‘metaphorical gallery’. Housing Zafrian’s “Rainbow Permafrost”, this painting-turned-graphic instantly transforms you into a walking canvas; showcasing “a traditional gallery ‘blurb’ as if [the white fabric] was a wall” at an art show.
Brigade x Adam Zafrian “Rainbow Permafrost” T-Shirt ($30)
Finally, the piece de resistance, is a beautiful, enigmatic cotton twill chore coat that is guaranteed to turn every head on the street.
In an effort to study Pollock’s methods, Zafrian masterfully created his rendition titled Pollock’s Snow, which is adorned in various places on the front of this garment.
Brigade x Adam Zafrian “Pollock’s Snow” Chore Coat ($156)
When crafting a collection, brands often build their items around a theme, or even a set of themes. What influenced the inspiration behind this release?
“Junya Watanabe, or Japanese fashion in general. The people who I see wearing this collection are individuals who are fashion forward and into Japanese, or even skate, inspired fashion—especially in terms of the jacket.”
“The puzzle, that’s for everyone.”
“Pollock’s Snow” – Adam Zafrian
You both did a great job at combining each of your own elements into these pieces.
What was it like working with Adam Zafrian on this capsule? Did the two of you come across any creative differences, or on the contrary, creative synergy?
“Honestly, we were on the same wavelength from the beginning. I don’t think there was any serious creative differences at all; rather an abundance of creative synergy.”
“Every time we got together to work on the capsule it was truly invigorating. It was a constant exchange of knowledge between artists which pushed each individual forward, both mentally and artistically.”
It takes an immense amount of creative energy to skillfully combine two art forms that don’t necessarily fit together and produce harmony between the two. Such dichotomy is exhibited not only in this capsule, but with the artists as well.
Coming from different artistic backgrounds, Aaron and Adam were challenged with crafting a one-of-a-kind collection that honored both their creativity in an equally respectful manner.
What were some of the biggest differences between building an original, Brigade collection versus this collaborative collection?
“The biggest difference [between the two] is simply direction. Every collaboration we’ve done has been an organic connection between [Brigade] and the collaborator; and it always originates from a random idea I have.”
How, exactly, did a collaboration with Adam Zafrian come about? After a “random idea on a mundane bus ride home.”
“With mainline collections, I generally let Pop Culture or Philosophy grab a hold of my interest. I’ll become obsessed with a topic or way of thinking for months, and while living in that bubble, I design around it. Every collection, whether original or collaborative, stands on its own; with its own story and direction.”
With Brigade moving forward so quickly, which direction do you see it taking?
Does this collection align with your overall vision for the brand?
“Absolutely. What’s important is filling a white space, standing for something, and leaving an imprint on the human subconscious…and this collection does all three.”
“We’re not focused on making the brand grow quick at all.”
“Money is not important. Instead, we are building a solid foundation that will stand the test of time. I believe we are headed in that direction.”
Lastly, what is the single, most important lesson you learned from this collaboration?
“That everything is always right on time.”
“You can really only connect the dots looking backwards. Two years ago I was a huge fan of Adam, now I’m looking at one of my favorite capsules I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. Life has a funny way of always working itself out and making sense.”
Each of Brigade’s past releases have continuously displayed their ceaseless talent, however, this collection exceeds them all. Finding a way to combine two entirely different artistic endeavors and present them in a way that highlights both entities, is something only Brigade could do.
This isn’t your typical ‘Spring ’19 Collection’; this is wearable art. Name one other brand in this industry that’s releasing puzzles. Now, let’s see how many start.
With three masterfully composed products (and free stickers with every purchase) you don’t have enter a gallery in order to rock these ‘museum worthy’ pieces. You are the gallery. You become the art.
May 10th, 2019 @ 12pm EST
Published: May 8th, 2019 | Daniella Nagaytsev
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