Lessons In Cool: Visual Artist Sarah Coleman

  • Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
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I love the idea of industrial design and high fashion coming together.

- Sarah Coleman

Welcome to Lessons In Cool, a new series all about the people we’re constantly inspired by. They are tastemakers, curators of style, thought leaders, and well, just cool.

A Gucci monogrammed hand sanitizer. A Louis Vuitton folding chair. A lighter wrapped in the Fendi logo. If you’ve come across any of these objects in the last year or so, you know Sarah Coleman. The New York City-raised visual artist takes everyday objects and gives them a luxury treatment by covering them with repurposed designer materials (think old Vuitton luggage found on eBay). “I love the idea of industrial design and high fashion coming together. Making pieces that exist in many areas that they don’t usually exist in,” she says. “Utility and luxury are not often concepts that go together, but I think it’s necessary and things that are made well will last for generations. As they last they carry a story.”

Last month she teamed up with Fendi to create a special capsule collection that reimagines the brand’s signature logo. Called “Vertigo” the collection features bags, accessories, objects, and clothing, all with a twist. We’re big fans of her designs and were excited to catch up to hear more about her work, inspiration, and beauty essentials.

Name & occupation:

Sarah Coleman, Artist

Your bio:

I grew up in New York City. I have always been making and taking these apart and putting them together in new ways. I love jazz music, old school hip hop and R&B. I love animals, painting, and my dogs. My career began working as an interior designer for Peter Marino. I always had my own art practice outside of work, so after working as the Art Director at the Mercer Hotel, I went out on my own to focus on my art and collaborative projects.

First thing you do in the morning:

Drink some water and walk my dogs.

Biggest challenge?

Not overthinking.

Biggest inspiration?

Plants, watching old movies, and reading. I’m very much a homebody but I love to travel and connect with people. My boyfriend inspires me to keep growing and be the best version of myself. He also has the best style of almost anyone I know.

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Let's talk about your art—what do you love most about your work?

I like the idea of blurring lines between fashion, art and design. My work is very organic, humorous, and ironic. I started off with one chair and it sort of came naturally. I made more and more furniture repurposing materials and it just felt right every time so I kept taking it and running further. I just find it exciting because I have not put myself in any box.

I do a lot of collage work and reconstruction with any objects I am drawn to. I love a good knick-knack. The logo materials I use are high quality coated canvas from preowned luggage that is usually falling apart from time spent in the backs of closets or in basements. They are no longer used and I have a desire to breathe new life into them. To give these pieces a second chance. There is nothing so precious about them. I want people to use and touch and live with my work. There is great care and time put into each piece because I want them to last.

Last person you texted:

My mom.

Most scrolled app or site:

eBay

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Cool to me means comfortable in your own skin or something that exists with no underlying motivations. It just is what it is and it’s happy to be whatever it is.

- Sarah Coleman

What are the 5 beauty products you can’t live without:

Your fashion/style icon?

Aaliyah and my grandmother.

Advice you’d give your younger self:

FIND OUT WHAT BOUNDARIES ARE, WHAT YOU WANT YOURS TO BE, AND PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE. Also, track your cycle. It’s usually not the end of the world, just that time of the month.

What does “cool” mean to you?

Cool to me means comfortable in your own skin or something that exists with no underlying motivations. It just is what it is and it’s happy to be whatever it is.

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