On the evening of Wednesday, July 8, Holt Renfrew hosted an exclusive fashion event with Haculla, a designer streetwear collection designed by creative director Jon Koon. The latest collection is a collaborative project inspired by Harif Guzman, New York based contemporary artist and designer.
Haculla’s first collection references to Guzman’s “Dark Ages” characters. The original series is an examination of the old masters in classical art, and within this series, Guzman juxtaposes his signature street art characters with iconic styles often depicted in old master paintings.
"The Haculla characters all came about when I came to New York. It's a character that's been around for 18 years," he said.
Guzman began tagging the streets of New York in the early-2000’s and became recognized for his work soon after, gaining a celebrity following. They have since watched him transition from a street artist to contemporary painter. His street and contemporary art works have been exhibited internationally. However, he calls New York home as well as his favourite canvas and inspiration.
"My collection is my life on a day-to-day basis, it's the way I feel and I've put it all over New York," he said. "It's become an iconic imagery in New York and now I brought it to clothing along with Jon Koon who designed different styles."
When asked about who he envisions wearing his collection he said, "Anybody that's got a dark side to them but also likes to have a little fun; but I think there's a little dark side to everyone." With that being said, Guzman also adds he initially paints and designs for himself, stating, "Everything I paint is for myself. My collection is my life, what I've lived."
Holt Renfrew's concourse level was transitioned into a New York underground fashion and art event. Guests entered through the back alley where Guzman had painted a huge mural on the brick wall upon entrance. Following through, more of Guzman's artwork and designs in monochrome with hints of deep red led the crowd through the event. A mixture of hip-hop, rap, trap, and r&b filled the space in the most suitable way possible courtesy of DJ Sophie Jones. In addition, Chef Matthew created a contemporary and cool menu for guests to enjoy tasty hors d'oeuvres. Alcohol was also sponsored, including Peroni and signature themed cocktails.