A few weeks ago on Sept. 2, singer superstar Lil Nas X tweeted “big announcement soon” with a butterfly and white heart emojis. A few days later on Sept. 17, French designer Jean Paul Gaultier replied with the looking eyes, hourglass and shushing emojis.
It all came to a head this morning, Sept. 20, when the pair debuted a custom, limited-edition shirt now available for preorder on the designer’s website, and fans are flocking to the chaotic, inspiring design.
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The colorful, graphic, rococo-esque design is released in honor of Lil Nas X’s debut album Montero. It’s a long-sleeve shirt made with delicate tulle set in a slightly-sheer black. Suitable for any sex or gender, the highly-detailed shirt tiny, flying depicts devils as they crown the “controversial” artist. The scene is framed by roses, with Gaultier and Lil Nas X’s names printed prominently in the middle.
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It’s a fitting collaboration between the French fashion legend and the hotly-rising star. Lil Nas X has made big waves with his sex-positive lyrics and music videos, unabashedly owning his homosexuality and celebrating his blackness in tandem.
He caused a stir when he sold custom Nikes fitted with real human blood. The footwear brand filed a lawsuit against his unofficial “Satan Shoes,” and the musician has regularly pointed out how artists who sell similar products, such as Tony Hawk’s recent blood-painted skateboard, no one sues them for defamation.
Gaultier, likewise, has never been afraid to push cultural buttons.
“I don't think I was ever concerned with shocking people,” he once told The Guardian. “Was I conscious of the fact that it could be shocking? Yes. But I just wanted to show what I found fair or normal or beautiful. If anything, I was the one who was shocked by certain kinds of intolerance.”
Surely the only good art is the work that moves the social conversation forward, pushing the boundaries or expectation. This sinful, limited-edition shirt retails for €333, or $390. Pre-orders can now be placed online.