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Gap Creative Director on Brand's New Direction, Visionaire Collaboration

At the launch party for the Gap x Visionaire T-shirts in Art Basel Miami, Rebekka Bay talked about her, er, vision for the retailer. Two words: "building blocks."
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As usual, the fashion and art collaborations are aplenty at Art Basel in Miami Beach this year, but one of the standouts is from Visionaire and Gap, who produced limited-edition T-shirts that just made their debut at The Webster Miami.

We stopped by the "Tees & Tea" brunch, where an art and fashion crowd -- which included Francisco Costa, Robert Verdi and Leigh Lezark -- was admiring the shirts, which are the first five out of a total of 40 that Gap will roll out over the course of the next year.

The partnership came about when Visionaire’s James Kaliardos and Cecilia Dean, who had been dreaming of doing a T-shirt line, met with Gap’s new creative director Rebekka Bay. “We started talking about doing a project together, and then T-shirts came up and it became this wonderful collaboration,” said Dean.

Only 300 of each "Miami 5" style was produced, which were all based on striking, 3-D relief images embossed on metal plates in Visionaire’s current Forever issue. The super cool silver on black shirts feature a roaring panther by Sølve Sundsbø, a Lady Gaga portrait by Inez & Vinoodh, a silver square with the phrase “grow love with me” by Yoko Ono, a haunting skull by Craig McDean and an image Linda Evangelista by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari.

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“I always look to Visionaire for inspiration, and I’ve really wanted to collaborate with someone who lives and breathes not only fashion, but art as well.” said Bay. "I kind of [wanted] to take a very democratic brand and team that with something that’s much more artistic [and] truly creative." So what can we continue to expect from Bay -- who used to be the creative director of the slick, minimalist H&M offshoot COS -- and whose first Gap collection will hit stores next spring?

“I just want to take it back, really,” said Bay. “I think Gap has always been the greatest iconic American casualwear brand, and that’s really what I want it to be. I want to own super casual, iconic pieces and be the go-to brand for the wardrobe -- almost like building blocks.” Until then, you can snag one of the collaborative T-shirts, priced at an extremely affordable $29.95. They are available at Gap's flagship locations in Miami and New York, The Webster Miami, and New York’s VFiles. But don't worry if you miss out -- the 40 additional designs, which Dean shared will be inspired by the Visionaire archives, will be on sale next May, August and October.