Frieze Will Peddle Gap T-Shirts Designed by Alex Katz, Yoko Ono, and Richard Phillips

Frieze New York, 2013. Photo Naho Kubota. Courtesy Naho Kubota and Frieze.

Visitors to Frieze New York (May 9–12) won’t just be able to buy expensive art and concessions at the fair next week. Thanks to a new partnership, clothing store chain Gap will also be on hand to sell T-shirts designed by Alex Katz, Yoko Ono, Richard Phillips, and other artists at two outdoor boutiques.

The non-traditional retail spaces, designed in collaboration with New York-based architects Leong Leong, have been dubbed the “Gap White Space at Frieze.” Accessible both from the grounds and from the main tent, the shops will offer complimentary coffee bars and a cafe space where visitors can enjoy views across the East River.

Although the name calls to mind the architectural conventions of the white cube gallery space, White Space rooms at select Gap stores worldwide are used to feature and test the brand’s new clothing lines. For Frieze, the new series of 11 collectible T-shirts has been created with limited-edition art and fashion publisher Visionaire. Katz, Ono,  Phillips, Ugo Rondinone, Peter Lindbergh, Francois Berthoud, and Roe Ethridge have each contributed limited-edition designs that will change color when exposed to direct sunlight.

The fashion line calls to mind the recently-launched collaboration between Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The museum has licensed works from its collection by artists including Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol to appear on different items of clothing.

Frieze co-founder Amanda Sharp expressed her support for the new addition to the fair in a statement saying: “I am really delighted that Frieze is partnering with Gap as they come from a strong art heritage, and this project showcases that interest.” She anticipates that “it will add to the enjoyable experience of the fair, and be a destination for visitors.”

As Gallerist points out, the Gap brand does have a preexisting connection to the art world. Founders Doris F. Fisher and the late Donald G. Fisher were prominent art collectors, and donated many works from their collection to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “As a company with a long history of supporting the arts, we’re thrilled to partner with Frieze,” said Gap president Stephen Sunnucks in a press release. “This partnership celebrates art and fashion and enables people to experience Gap in a new and unexpected way.”

If you can’t make it out to Randall’s Island, you’ll have a second chance to experience the Gap White Space at Frieze London in the fall, with another new collection from Gap and Visionaire.

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