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IN THE STUDIO

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The Artist Collaboration: Christina Zimpel

“IT'S GREAT TO BE COLLABORATING WITH CHRISTINA ZIMPEL FOR OUR RUNWAY SHOW. THE SPRING 2019 COLLECTION IS INSPIRED BY THE IDEA OF A GLOBAL GETAWAY, AND SURROUNDING OUR GUESTS WITH CHRISTINA’S COLORFUL, OPTIMISTIC ARTWORK WAS THE PERFECT WAY TO TRANSPORT THEM TO THESE GLAMOROUS LOCATIONS.”

Michael Kors

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Christina Zimpel has had a whirlwind of a year. The Australian-born, Brooklyn-based artist picked up her paintbrushes back in 2016 after a long career in design and photography. Soon after, her work caught the attention of the fashion world. She was commissioned by Vogue Australia to illustrate a spread for their September 2017 issue, and tapped for a high-profile project for the CFDA earlier this year. Now, in her biggest project yet, Zimpel has collaborated with Michael Kors for his Spring 2019 Collection, creating a series of custom paintings that were showcased during his show at New York Fashion Week. We sat down with Zimpel in her studio to talk third acts, inspirations and influences.

How did you get started?

This is my third act. It’s a natural distillation of all the things I’ve done in my life…I’ve been a graphic designer, a studio manager for photography. Prior to that I’d only been an art lover, I hadn’t really been making art. But I came to the realization that it was something that I love to do.

What have been some major milestones along the way?

The last six months have been incredible. I did a major project for the CFDA Awards where I painted numerous portraits of nominees and honorees. Michael’s project has also been incredible, I’ve pushed myself in directions I hadn’t really gone in and I’ve had a great time with that.

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How did the collaboration with Michael Kors come about?

I got the call to come in and meet with Michael. He’d seen some work of mine and he really connected to it and asked me if I would be interested in trying to do something for his show. He wanted to transport people away from New York for a few minutes, to go on holiday with him and his collection to some incredible beach location.

What locations were you influenced by?

Michael is really fond of Capri so that was my starting point. I recently went to Majorca, Spain, which I was highly influenced by, and I love to draw the ocean and plants. So I brought that all on board and tried to keep it organic, free, loose and easy.

Who are your influences?

You can probably see that I’m quite influenced by artists like Matisse because I just love that simple line, it just looks so effortless. If I ever have a really good day and I can have a tiny bit of that that’s a gift. I also love Philip Guston, Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue, who actually really influenced me on this job with his South of France pictures.

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