For the Comme des Garcons Fall 2015 collection, the brand’s creative director Rei Kawakubo was deeply inspired by the illustrations of Joseph Aloi, who is best known by pseudonym JK5. Kawakubo asked Aloi to trust her and the process, giving her unfettered access to his work. It was only at the runway show during Paris Fashion Week Fall 2015 that he saw the stunning results.
This fall, however, Aloi and Kawakubo reversed roles when she invited the artist to take over a floor of Dover Street Market in New York. Tackling the artful department store was no easy feat, but thanks to his background in tattoo and graffiti art, JK5 created an all-encompassing concept for the pop-up space. “They gave me completely creative freedom, so I immediately started drawing like crazy,” says Aloi. “I wanted a warm, inviting, engaging, transportive space that was comfortable and singular. I am a big sci-fi and mythology fan, so it was really wonderful opportunity to be able to crystallize a heavily branded space with a very distinct vision embedded with this imagery.”