After the Bolsheviks overthrew Russia’s ruling elite in 1917, they faced the massive problem of transforming a mostly illiterate, agrarian population into a world class industrial labor force. Inspired by the work of Wassily Kandinsky, as well as the Cubists including Pablo Picasso, the avant garde ‘Constructivist’ movement was born.
Declaring war on the traditional easel painter, they recast the artist as industrial engineer. Theirs was a new visual language of simple, repetitive geometric forms, representing the nuts and bolts of the industrial age — smokestacks, cogs, belts, gears, and production charts. Their goal: to 'activate' the urban masses by literally weaving progress into the fabric of everyday life.
A century later, we face the greater challenge of shifting the energy basis of global civilization from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The good news is, green is finally starting to work with capitalism, rather than against it, and our 'Green Machine' collection celebrates this shift.
Inspired by the Constructivists, we retained the gears, belts and cogs of the industrial age, but replaced coal power with wind and solar, and the production chart with the iconic Keeling curve.
It's a guaranteed conversation starter!
Illustrations by Alexandra Norina / art direction by Giles Jackson. Special thanks to Samantha Giordano, founder of New York fashion label Dolores Haze, who turned us on to Constructivism.