Art and Fashion,
“Clothing is your second skin. It tells a story of your life. It is the art you get to wear every day,” Lennard Taylor.
Fashion is more art than art is,” declared Andy Warhol, a leading figure in the visual art movement– pop art. Warhol best exemplified the symbiotic nature of the two disciplines by printing his iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans on dresses in the ’60s.
Art and fashion are intrinsically linked with a long-standing relationship and more so than ever as they have become two synonymous outlets for expression over the past few decades. As the collaboration between fashion and art is currently at a peak, Lennard Taylor, who has taken a step further–combat climate change. He is marrying the two with impeccable finesse in harmonious co-existence and cementing it with environmentalism.
“I create wearable art that my clients can enjoy for life, and I create unique artwork that can be hung on their walls and make them feel good,” says the Designer/Artist Lennard Taylor of his eponymous brand Lennard Taylor.
He often gets asked if he is a painter who designs clothing or a designer who paints? The answer is, he is both. He sees himself as an artist who works in many mediums with one goal in mind: to make people smile and feel good in all that he does. He creates an air of positivity to make his clients feel their best. His paintings and garments give people the confidence to achieve all of their goals in life, explains Taylor. And says, “I care about changing the way people perceive fashion and art by creating products that will positively impact our world.”
Lennard Taylor Design Studio, established in 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, stemmed from two-fold inspiration.
Born into a highly creative family, he was encouraged to express his artistic vision. Being an artist was his disposition by nature–he translated his imagination through his painting.
While in Europe, when pursuing a soccer career, he suffered from a career-ending injury. One fateful day on the streets of Europe amid art and fashion–the extravagance of most visual aspects of self-expression–unveiled in him the realization that clothing was not just something one wear. It is an artful expression of who an individual is, and it tells a story of how they live.
On his return to Canada, he self-taught himself and worked his way up from humble beginnings step-by-step with no master plan but hard work and determination.
Lennard Taylor is a story of from-rags-to-riches. He didn’t have a penny on his name, lived a modest life in a studio apartment without a kitchen and no shower for over two and a half years and practiced his art. Taylor taught himself how to sew and apprenticed with different companies while designing his collections during his spare time. From street markets to pop-up stores, he began to grow his brand. After years of hard work and receiving international recognition, today, the brand is known for its universally flattering and timeless pieces that will never go out of style.
His years of modest lifestyle encouraged him never to waste and live with few things. What the brand stands for today greatly reflects this practice–from ensuring no waste of scrap fabrics from production; to encouraging clients to buy less clothing; and investing in quality and timeless pieces that they can wear for seasons to come.
At Lennard Taylor, they create clothing for life, not a season.
They use only sustainably-made or dead-stock fabrics; locally produced in Winnipeg by local seamstresses treated and paid fairly, with innovative designs to be entirely zero waste by using scraps from production. “One of my favourite collections of artwork that I have created is my Ascension Series –I took old clothes that were no longer wearable and transformed them into visual art. You can see the details of the clothing, like the buttons, zippers and pockets from jeans hidden in the artwork’s beauty. This is one of my series that I am most proud of, and I hope will continue to inspire people to come up with new ways to keep clothing out of the landfill,” says Taylor.
He pushes the boundaries of sustainability with The Refresh Program, the design to help bring life back to old Lennard Taylor pieces. If a customer rips, tears or stains their clothing, he will fix it by patching the rips, mending the tears or painting over the stain to give the garment new life so that their clients can continue to wear the clothing they love. Once the clothing becomes threadbare, and one can no longer wear it, he transforms it into visual artwork to hang on your walls.