DA Presents: Inspired is a new article series where we ask talented individuals from various industries to explain the effect that art has had on them professionally. We explore to what extent the language of art influences the practices of graphic designers, fashion professionals, musicians, architects and many more.
We believe this cycle of inspiration is the engine that drives the art world, the constant search for creative dynamism. For the first instalment we spoke to Janie Schaffer, a fashion industry entrepreneur who created and built the incredibly successful brand Knickerbox and held the position of Chief Creative Officer at Victoria's Secret.
In 2015 Janie began a journey to restore FIORUCCI to its former glory - bringing art firmly into the fold.
"My name is Janie Schaffer and I have been creatively linked to the apparel industry for some 35 years. I started my career at the London School of Fashion and in 1986 started an entrepreneurial business called Knickerbox.
The philosophy was to sell beautiful affordable underwear, sleepwear and swimwear in small shops in convenient locations like airports and train stations.
The business grew to 150 stores worldwide before we sold it in the mid 90's.
I became the Chief Creative Officer at Victoria's Secret in 2008 and there was responsible for leading a very large creative team. In a business that big being a loud creative voice is imperative and storytelling, art and design plays a huge part in the process.
In 2015 we started a journey to bring back the iconic heritage brand FIORUCCI. A brand that started in 1967 but all but disappeared for 30 years."
"FIORUCCI was a brand devoted to art, music and environmental issues communicated through art."
"Although it is a fashion brand it's history and archive are steeped in the history of art and the brand was intrinsically linked to artists like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Basquiat and Angel Ortez."
"I have always loved playing with colour and in every business colour, print and graphics have played a huge part in my role. I have taken massive inspiration from Hockney, Matisse and Calder and have a personal love of Peter Doig and love the sketches of Tracy Emin."
"At Fiorucci in order to promote young creative talent we have events in our flagship store in Soho (or at least we did before Covid) and we had recently held an event through D'Stassi of “Endless“ a brilliant grafitti artist and Schoony whose work is spectacular.
They were a huge success and has not only renewed my love of contemporary Art but it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and passion for the art by our young customers . The events were so akin to the heritage of FIORUCCI."
"I am so excited that through young entrepreneurs like the D'Stassi duo young contemporary artists are getting a platform and art is inclusive and visible to everyone."
Thank-you for reading this instalment of Inspired - we hope you found something that sparks your creative interest. If so, let us know and tell us what informs your own process - what inspires you.
Look out for the second instalment where we will be talking to Animator/graphic designer Joe Maccarone.
The D'Stassi Art team.