Trimfit Illustration Project at Walkers Court Studio
It’s always a question with corporate art: is it art, or just kitsch? Clothing manufacturer Brutus has stepped up to submit their argument with the Trimfit Illustration Project. Nine artists from around London were selected by Jonathan Freedman, son of Brutus founder Keith Freedman, to produce illustrations for their iconic Trimfit shirt. The brand, originally popular with the mod crowd in the sixties and seventies, was relaunched in 2009 to the delight of their cult following, firmly rooted in the IPA-drinking Shoreditch hipster set. And it’s definitely kitsch, but that’s part of the appeal – Freedman’s low-key, trendy approach to marketing the brand seems to have taken off.
When we arrived, fashionably late, at the tiny matchbox of a studio on Walkers Court (buried in the heart of Soho), there wasn’t room to move as it’s so packed with fashionistas and art fans. The crowd is young, beautiful and chic. People are drinking and chatting and, bizarrely, chowing down on fish ‘n’ chips from brown cardboard containers emblazoned with Brutus’ name. DJs spin and people outside clamour to have a word with Freedman, who’s presiding over the event, magnanimously, if a little distantly.
This exhibition, on until 22nd January, is part season launch, part art show, and part celebration of what it means to be young and fashionable in London. The Trimfit Illustration Project may lack a little in substance, but the cult of Trimfit doesn’t care, as the turnout for the opening reveals. The whole affair is definitely corporate, so if you’re looking for some authentic street art, this isn’t your gig, but if you’re a Brutus fan, enjoy kitsch, and have some spare time near Soho, check it out.