“BLESS is a visionary substitute to make the near future worth living for. She is an outspoken female – more woman than girl. She’s not a chosen beauty, but doesn’t go unnoticed. Without a definite age she could be more between her mid twenties and forties. B. hangs around with a special style of man. She has no nationality and thinks that sport is quite nice. She’s always attracted by temptations and loves change. She lives right now and her surroundings are charged by her presence. She tends to be future orientated. BLESS is a project that presents ideal and artistic values by products to the public.”
Over the past eleven years BLESS has earned itself an international reputation as one of Europe’s most uncompromising and innovative design-labels. Operating out of Berlin and Paris, BLESS resists the fashion industry’s demand for seasonal re-invention and hence the production of waste. Since its founding in 1997 by Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, BLESS has been referred to as an “conceptual fashion label,” and yet the designers have developed a language beyond the narrow constrains of mere fashion.
The global language of BLESS in-cooperates references and ideas from the social and cultural margins from around the world. BLESS products inhabit the fine line between art and design object, high functionality and high fashion – recycled everyday objects, combined with unexpected materials, are not only put to an entirely new use, but are also and always a ‘soft-core critique’ of todays fashion industry.
As curator and author Barbara Steiner notes, “by addressing the fields of both fashion and art, including the overlapping zones, and once again confounding any attempt at classification, BLESS reveals the contradictions and conflicts that underlie economic and artistic interests, and above all their reciprocal relationship. Ambiguity, contingency and instability become the constituents of a practice that is based on multiple focal points as a means of probing possibilities of external versus self-determination, commercial success versus critical reflection and incorporation versus resistance.”
For three weeks BLESS will run a temporary shop at Ludlow 38 showcasing BLESS classics from the past eleven years. Each customized display box on exhibition, intended to respond to Liam Gillick and Ethan Breckenridge’s design of Ludlow 38, will contain a selection of BLESS products and other items selected by Yasmine Gauster, founder of the BLESS Shop in Berlin. A selection of these boxes and items will also be presented at an event at Greene Naftali Gallery as well as at four local shops:
Seven New York 110 Mercer Street, Ground Floor
Oak 28 Bond St.
Project No.8 138 Division St. (between Ludlow & Orchard)
Opening Ceremony 35 Howard Street