Leaders of the Pack

Pop Artists Customize Sisley’s Leather Jackets for The Andy Warhol Museum

Since Marlon Brando played rebel biker Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (1953) the leather jacket has been synonymous with countercultural cool. A decade after the film’s release, it was the unofficial uniform at the hippest party in town: Warhol’s Factory. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and Italian brand Sisley is celebrating the beloved fashion staple this fall, partnering with Warhol’s friend (and former editor of Interview magazine) Glenn O’Brien to commission 17 artists to customize a selection of Sisley leather biker jackets. O’Brien came to prominence in New York’s downtown scene in the early 80s hosting the now-legendary live cable show TV Party, showcasing the talents of Blondie, David Byrne, Fab Five Freddy and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others. For the project he has called upon his Rolodex of notorious art world fringe figures from that era, including graffiti master Lee Quinones, riotous pop artist Kenny Scharf and painter Stefano Castronovo (who refashioned one of Warhol’s original jackets with a portrait of the artist and Basquiat). He has also rounded up some of the younger generation who exemplify a similar pop art spirit: Dan Colen, Rita Ackermann, Tom Sachs and Nate Lowman. Unveiled today at the Palazzo Bovara in Milan, the jackets will be auctioned off at Christie's in November.


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