Kiko Kostadinov has been busy. Since ascending to the role of creative director at British raincoat specialists Mackintosh, the Bulgarian-born, British-raised designer has been offering up distinctly creative and destructive takes on workwear. Long gone are the days of the cut-and-sew Stussy capsules; Kostadinov recently took over a pop-up space in Dover Street Market’s New York location.
The pop-up consists of shirts that Kostadinov and his team wrapped and stapled to frames; the pristine white button-downs were then painted black, detached from the frame, and unfurled, revealing abstract patterns left by Kostadinov’s brush-strokes. The work is primarily inspired by Theaster Gates’ My Labour is My Protest. In his installation, Gates tarred objects associated with manual labor — the use of tar harkening back to the work of Gates’ father, a roofer. Kostadinov’s own father was a carpenter and the two worked on several construction projects while Kiko was growing up; these formative experiences give us some clues to Kostadinov’s own reverence and recreation of workwear staples.
The collection of shirts will be on display at DSM NY until May 4.