Delano Brown is becoming an in-demand clothing customizer, taking expensive fashion pieces from big names like Balenciaga and Givenchy and adding to them his hand-painted oversized flowers. In the process, he's quickly becoming a brand name in the art and fashion worlds.
The 22-year old Brown recently had his first New York gallery show at the Smart Clothes Gallery, where he created a wearable painting on the model's dress for the occasion.
Here's a shot of Brown's hand-painted flowers on a variety of clothing inside the gallery. I like the vibrancy and funk of the flowers. They ooze a lively energy.
Brown says that he's giving luxury an "insouciant" twist. In theory, creating paintings on brand name fashion is paying homage to big fashion even though, in Brown's mind, it's meant to be irreverent.
Starting out, Brown ran a stall at the Security Square Mall in the Baltimore suburbs, where he custom-painted shirts to match what people bought in the adjacent sneaker store. By the looks of the next photo, he must have painted the sneakers coming out of that store, too.
Brown was asked to hand-paint a Brooklyn Nets jersey (below) for a recent tour of the rapper Fabolous.
Brown's long-term goal is art, not fashion. “Not everybody is going to understand a $50,000 canvas,” he said, “but clothing is something everybody understands.”
Brown has come up with a clever strategy to build his reputation as an artist. I wonder if he's going to become so popular painting high-end fashion that he won't be able to turn back to art. We'll see if Brown can sustain his momentum. In the meantime, he's making a splash in the fashion world.
You can see more of Brown's work on his Instagram page, which serves as his virtual portfolio.