Episode 02

A Growing Art Collection

By Whitewall
Whitewall Presents, November 30, 2018
Chapter 1

A Powerful Moment

Zadig & Voltaire
Courtesy of Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire is no stranger to the art world. Its founder Thierry Gillier and his wife, artistic director Cecilia Bönström collect together. Works by artists like Chirstopher Wool, Dan Flavin, Will Boone, Eva Rothschild and more are featured prominently in their retail spaces. To learn more about the French fashion brand’s support of contemporary artists, Whitewall spoke with Bönström.

Cecilia Bönström
Photo by ©Alexandre Tabaste

WHITEWALL: Zadig & Voltaire features contemporary artworks across the brand’s flagship stores in the U.S. and Paris. How do you choose the artwork for each space?

CECILIA BÖNSTRÖM: The pieces we choose are personal choices in constant evolution. Contemporary art is a passion of my husband’s, the founder of Zadig & Voltaire, Thierry Gillier. Sharing moments with him visiting art galleries and art fairs is the true pleasure of life, but it makes me also realize that collecting art is not an easy thing. There are so many different artists and you really have to stay focused and concentrated on what you really like. Each time we buy a piece, it is a powerful moment.

Each of our stores is different in size and construction, and a different vibe depending on the city. There are always the Zadig & Voltaire codes linking every boutique together, but we play with different materials, from copper, wood, marble, metal, and cement. It is a natural process when we choose a special art piece to go in a certain store.

Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Zadig & Voltaire

WW: Zadig & Voltaire has an art gallery on the bottom level of its rue Cambon shop. Tell us about this and how the idea came to be.

CB: Zadig & Voltaire was born just over 20 years ago; the strength of the company has always been to find stores with cool locations, often not on the main street but on a corner close by, to create a destination for the customer. Today, we still have some of these, but we also closed the smaller ones to concentrate more on true flagships, where the customer gets more of an experience and a taste of what Zadig & Voltaire is all about.

When Thierry Gillier chose the rue Cambon location, for him it was all about creating a space that breathes Paris. He also wanted to offer something more to the customers than just buying the clothing collection. He wanted to offer a piece of the Zadig & Voltaire universe. Zadig & Voltaire is a way of living—it is fashion with a message and with a unique style. Contemporary art has been a big inspiration since the true beginning, and so we wanted to open that space downstairs as a gallery where we hang different pieces from different artists, to tell more about who we are.

Chapter 1 — Noteworthy

Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire is no stranger to the art world.

Zadig & Voltaire

Its founder Thierry Gillier and his wife, artistic director Cecilia Bönström collect together.

Christopher Wool

Works by artists like Chirstopher Wool, Dan Flavin, Will Boone, Eva Rothschild and more are featured prominently in their retail spaces.

Chapter 2

A Capsule Collection in Miami

Zadig & Voltair
Carolina Rodriguez's customized Zadig & Voltaire sneakers at PAMM
Photo by Federica Angelino

A group of contemporary artists, selected by the ICA Miami and Whitewall, will invade Zadig & Voltaire’s Miami flagship this week during Art Basel in Miami Beach. The artists were invited to create collaborative pieces from three signature Zadig & Voltaire items. The limited-edition ccollection will be part of a Heritage Auction sale, with proceeds going toward the ICA Miami.

Cecilia Bönström shared with us the artists she’s currently following, as well as her thoughts on the Miami capsule collection.

Zadig & VoltaireJessy Nite's customized Zadig & Voltaire jacket in front of Jesús Rafael Soto's installation at PAMM
Photo by Federica Angelino

WHITEWALL: How does art inspire the collection?

CECILIA BÖNSTRÖM: For me when designing the collection, art is a constant stimulation. I can see an exhibition and it can just be a color, print, or writing that inspires me. Art opens your mind and makes you move forward.

WW: Who are some of the young artists you have been following and collecting?

CB: The Norwegian artist Yngve Holen. I met him at a dinner party; he is such a nice guy and he does really strong work. The same thing with Alex Israel, and we also collect Dan Colen.

Zadig & VoltaireJuan Travieso's customized Zadig & Voltaire jacket next to the Miami Design District's Buckminster Fuller sculpture
Photo by Federica Angelino

WW: What are your thoughts on the collaboration in Miami with local artists who will be reinterpreting your designs?

CB: I think it is a great initiative! It is always great to discover the next generation of young, inspiring, hardworking, new artists.

Chapter 2 — Noteworthy

Zadig & Voltair

A group of contemporary artists, selected by the ICA Miami and Whitewall, will invade Zadig & Voltaire’s Miami flagship this week during Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Zadig & Voltaire

The artists were invited to create collaborative pieces from three signature Zadig & Voltaire items.

Zadig & Voltaire

The limited-edition ccollection will be part of a Heritage Auction sale, with proceeds going toward the ICA Miami.

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