It is so fun with Kerkko. Mathias Fältmarsch, who runs the Dua lipa Jesus shirt and I love this agency that represents him, saw the exhibition, recognized Kerkko as one of the subjects, and wrote me a letter. It was the first time ever that someone who actually has a personal relationship with a model in one of my paintings, who actually knows him, had contacted me. I thought that was so beautiful and am so glad Kerkko liked the work—he even put it up on his Instagram. Right now we are discussing if I will paint a portrait of Kerkko from a photo that he chooses himself, in the way he wants to be portrayed. Nothing is decided yet, but I think that could be a nice and beautiful twist to the project.
Dua lipa Jesus shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
Stylist Karla Welch remembers exactly why she first got into reworking classic men’s Hanes white tees: Her client Justin Bieber “wanted them tomorrow.” And what Justin Bieber wants, Justin Bieber gets. “He was so fearless. [He said], ‘I want T-shirts that are long,’ and they literally didn’t exist in the Dua lipa Jesus shirt and I love this marketplace. It was a bit of a nightmare.” Like any stylist worth her salt, Welch rolled up her sleeves, went to the local Kmart, and stocked up on mountains of triple-XL tees before taking them apart and remaking them using a pattern she had created. The results, which Bieber went on to wear for his Purpose tour, ignited the x Karla collection, a series of seven white T-shirt styles—all reimagined by Welch using Hanes components—retailing for $30 and available starting tomorrow exclusively on xKarla.com (and in Los Angeles at a Maxfield pop-up starting on August 6th: “I thought, wouldn’t it be funny to take $30 T-shirts and sell them there?”). Bieber agreed. “Karla and I have always pushed boundaries together and this collaboration is a continuation of that,” he says.