Over the past decade, the gap between the art and fashion world has all but diminished. While fine artists are still held in higher regard than fashion designers by cultural critics—though, that model is changing—the cultures surrounding the respective disciplines have largely become one and the same. Today, fans are as just as likely to wait in line for a limited Takashi Murakami or James Jean print as they are a Supreme or Off-White drop. While many individuals toe the line between contemporary art and fashion—Daniel Arsham, Virgil Abloh and of course Murakami—one man is at the center of the Venn diagram: Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS. A Jersey-born artist, Donnelly’s penchant for collaborations, evocative illustrations and toys have made him fixture of 21st century pop culture. To many, though, KAWS is a divisive figure — a victim of his own success. Despite divided opinion, KAWS is one of the most influential individuals not only within art and fashion, but culture at large.

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