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We always get a kick out of seeing those trademark little monkeys dangling from Kipling's brightly colored knapsacks, and when the brand turned 25, it made sense that they'd celebrate in a way that combined function with fun. To celebrate their birthday, Kipling united with eight photographers from around the world and commissioned them to make artwork out of the brand's products. Kipling's Marketing Director, Anne Nearman, told us the goal behind the project: "We wanted everyone to understand that our brand is really about fun, about clever, and about imagination, and we figured what better way than to take the artist community and bring it in. All we asked them was to have fun and to make us smile."
Kicking off the global art project, "Play With Bags", the brand hosted a cocktail party at the Helen Mills NYC gallery last week. Guests mingled over drinks and canapés as they admired the whimsical art pieces created using Kipling's new "Classic Collection"—a special line of tangerine and electric blue bags inspired by the brand's earliest vintage pieces. The walls were lined with photographs by all the artists, including China's Li Wei, Belgium's Alex Salinas and Prince Lauder of Mexico. The focus of this exhibit, however, was an actual Totem pole which renowned American Fashion photographer Paul Graves constructed from Kipling bags and then photographed. Graves explained his inspiration to us: "I see Kipling as a tribe, so you have the obvious analogy."
More artistic celebrations, contests, and other fun events will continue throughout the anniversary year. Check out art projects, contests, and the Kipling Classic Collection on their special anniversary year website, 25yearskipling.com.