Still Shopping for the Art and Fashion Lovers in Your Life? This Chic Museum Merch Will Make Them Merry

Welcome to The 12 Days of Artmas, our new non-denominational holiday extravaganza: an advent calendar with gift ideas and stories for art lovers of all kinds, releasing every day until December 24th.

When you hear the words “museum gift shop,” what probably comes to mind is a set of overpriced Georges Seurat magnets and Gustav Klimt postcards, perhaps an Andy Warhol pencil sharpener for good measure. But these days, more and more art institutions are teaming up with fashion designers to introduce curated merchandise that is actually highly coveted.

From cult favorites like Brother Vellies to the biggest luxury houses like Moschino, here are five collaborations between museum designers and their coolest merchandise.

Lingua Franca x The Whitney

The “HEAR LISTEN” sweatshirt by Lingua Franca x Christine Sun Kim at The Whitney. Courtesy of the museum.

Who: Lingua Franca (LF) is one of New York City’s best-loved small businesses making a difference, along with some really cute cashmere sweaters. LF employs local women to embroider its pieces with cheeky phrases, paying them a living wage and donating a portion of the proceeds to charity. To date, it has raised more than $ 1 million for organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.

What: In response to the customer’s request, the Whitney Museum shop is partnering with Lingua Franca for the fourth time, with their latest offering inspired by the works of Christine Sun Kim. The “TO LISTEN The LISTEN sweatshirt ”underlines the artist’s attention to ways of communicating; her message is embroidered with Kim’s handwriting.

How many: $ 160 ($ 144 for members) for the cotton sweatshirt; $ 300 for the cashmere version.

Brother Vellies x The Met

Brother Vellies x The Met.  Courtesy of the museum.

Brother Vellies x The Met. Courtesy of the museum.

Who: This Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) exclusive collection with Brother Vellies came out of the Met Costume Institute’s two-part exhibition dedicated to American fashion. Founder Aurora James—which began the 15 percent commitment and honored the cover of the September 2020 issue of Vogue in a painted portrait by Jordan Casteel — founded the Brooklyn-based luxury accessories brand in 2013 to help keep traditional African design practices alive by employing local artisans. (Talk about a game played in the art-historical paradise.)

What: The capsule collection (available only via the Met’s Instagram store) includes sweatshirts and t-shirts embossed with “American As Me”, as well as woven bags and recycled denim shirts that celebrate American fashion in all its glory.

How many: From $ 55 for a t-shirt to $ 350 for a handbag.

Commes des Garçons x LACMA

Comme des Garçons x LACMA.  Courtesy of the museum.

Comme des Garçons x LACMA. Courtesy of the museum.

Who: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) currently houses no less than 19 works by Comme des Garçons (CdG) and its founder, Rei Kawakubo. Kawakubo, who was the subject of the Met Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 exhibition, introduced an avant-garde style centered on the “breach” of borders; his apparently impossible to wear garments have become de rigueur on the red carpet and beyond.

What: CdG wallets come in a red and green tartan (what a party!), Which is one of Kawakubo’s favorite prints, while his small leather bags come in solid dark green and black.

How many: $ 207 ($ 186.30 for members).

Moschino x The Academy Museum

Moschino x The Academy Museum Store.  Courtesy of the museum.

Moschino x The Academy Museum Store. Courtesy of the museum.

Who: Calling all movie fans! If you haven’t made it to the recently opened Academy Museum Los Angeles, you can still take home some of the cinematic magic with a selection of goodies from the Academy Museum Store. One of the highlights is a capsule collection designed by Moschino frontman Jeremy Scott, who teamed up with Oscar-winning costume designer Arianne Phillips to bring aspects of The Wizard of Oz to life.

What: The luxurious sequin Ruby Slipper bag is the perfect sparkly accessory to elevate any girl’s ensemble.

How many: $ 480.

Vans x MOCA

Judy Baca at MOCA x VANS.  Courtesy of the Museum.

Judy Baca at MOCA x VANS. Courtesy of the Museum.

Who: Two California classics, Vans and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), have come together once again to showcase three artists’ designs on classic Vans styles. Details of works by Judy Baca, Frances Stark and Brenna Youngblood are emblazoned on the Vans Authentic, Old Skool and SK8-HI styles.

What: A panel from the mural by Judith F. Baca The World Wall: a vision of the future without fear (1990-2014), a design inspired by an image of Frances Stark’s Poets at the stake III (2015) and Brenna Youngblood democratic dollar (2015) will take you to the next level.

How many: $ 70 to $ 90, depending on the style.

Previous stories in this series:

On the second day of Artmas, My True Love gave me … a clutch bag that reinvents the Louis Vuitton legacy

On the first day of Artmas, my true love gave me … a step by step guide to gifting an NFT

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