Raf Simons Is Closing His Label, and Other News

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Raf Simons. Photography by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons is shuttering his namesake label after 27 years. 

“Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons revealed Monday on Instagram that he is shutting down his own label after ‘an extraordinary 27-year journey.’ The spring 2023 show staged during Frieze London last month will be the designer’s last collection for his own brand. ‘I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved,’ the designer said. Simons launched his namesake label in 1995. The designer kept growing his brand while working for major fashion houses including Jil Sander, Dior, and Calvin Klein. Pieces from Simons’ early years often fetch high prices on resale sites and during auctions. In 2020, he reissued some 100 pieces of his signature designs throughout the years, including the high-profile collaboration with Sterling Ruby.” [H/T WWD]

Michèle Lamy creates a blue-chip skatepark at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in LA.

“Carpenters Workshop Gallery has opened a high-art skatepark in West Hollywood with “Turning Tricks” (until Jan. 14). The group show was organized by Michèle Lamy, the designer and provocateur (and wife of Rick Owens) behind the creative collectives LamyLand and OwensCorp. Five undisclosed pro skateboarders appeared at the opening event to shred their boards on the show’s twelve skateable sculptures, created by pro skater Danny Minnick (the exhibition’s co-curator) alongside artists and designers Skyler DeYoung, Chris Benfield, and Lamy’s daughter Scarlett Rouge.” [H/T Artnet News]

Christie’s withdraws a T. Rex from auction, citing how the skeleton needs further study. 

“Christie’s said Sunday that it was withdrawing a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that it had been planning to auction this month in Hong Kong, where it was initially expected to fetch between $15 million and $25 million, after questions were raised about the number of replica bones used in the specimen and the way it was described in marketing materials. The T. rex, which the auction house called Shen, had been billed as the first skeleton of its species to appear at auction in Asia. A Christie’s news release touted the specimen as ‘museum standard’ and ‘a world-class specimen.’” [H/T The New York Times]

The Telus Tower in Calgary, Alberta, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. Photography by Lauren Ghinitoiu

Bjarke Ingels Group unveils a new skyscraper in Calgary with a feminine silhouette.

“Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has unveiled the 728-foot-tall Telus Sky Tower in Calgary, Alberta, which has a pixelated facade that twists diagonally from its base and ‘stands like a lady in a cluster of cowboys.’ The studio revealed photos of the skyscraper, which was completed in 2020, showing its twisted design that was created to signify the shift between the building’s office and residential programs. Its curving form is meant to diversify the skyline, which is otherwise characterized by corporate office towers and car-oriented avenues. As the tower rises, the floorplates become smaller and are stepped back from the footprint of the base. BIG founder Bjarke Ingels said that this movement gives the tower a sense of femininity in the midst of a more masculine skyline.” [H/T Dezeen]

Climate protesters simultaneously target three sculptures in Paris, Milan, and Oslo.

“Climate activists in Europe targeted artworks in three locations on Friday, but these protests were a departure from past actions as these works were not protected by glass. The three protests were also for the first time staged to take place on the same day as part of a concerted effort. On Friday in Paris, Milan, and Oslo, climate activists from local organizations under the umbrella group A22 Network doused sculptures with orange paint or flour, as UN climate talks took place in Egypt. This time, the works were hit directly and lacked protective covering. Two instances involved outdoor sculptures. None of the art pieces were damaged, though some are still being monitored for possible further cleaning.” [H/T ARTnews]

Disney unveils updated plans for another affordable housing development in Orlando.

“The Walt Disney Company has announced detailed plans and a developer for its new 1,300-unit affordable housing development outside of Orlando. The company says its latest housing project will support the local Orange County Housing for All plan that will deliver 86,100 units of affordable housing to the growing community before the end of the decade. The development will be led by the Michaels Organization and be made available to Disney and employees and members of the general public whose income qualifies within a certain range. In a press release, Michaels CEO John J. O’Donnell said: ‘Our goal is to create a repeatable model that we hope will inspire other companies and municipalities to create high quality, attainable housing in their own communities.’” [H/T Archinect]

The “MIT Collects” exhibition at the newly opened MIT Museum. Photography by Anna Olivella, courtesy of MIT Museum

The newly opened MIT Museum demystifies the world’s most complex technologies.

“The compelling and sometimes worrying territory where new technologies intersect with society is the overarching subject matter of the MIT Museum, which has just undergone a complete redesign for its new purpose-built space in Cambridge. Expanding out from the museum’s previous home, it now has three floors in a 17-story commercial tower to tell the story of MIT, its scientific achievements over the years, and the ways its research continues to bleed into the real world.” [H/T Fast Company]

Banksy asks his followers to shoplift from Guess after the retailer “stole” his designs. 

“Banksy is calling out Guess for allegedly stealing his designs. On Friday, the anonymous graffiti artist accused the clothing retailer of using his work without his permission before telling his 11.7 million Instagram followers to shoplift from one of its stores. The photo posted by Banksy shows the Guess storefront, where several mannequins in front of a backdrop featuring his iconic Flower Thrower piece can be seen in clothing printed with several of his designs, including Thug for Life Bunny and Mickey Billboard in Los Angeles. The display is tied to Guess’ new Fall/Winter 2022 collaboration with graffiti licensees Brandalised, which is touted as ‘a special capsule collection with graffiti by Banksy.’” [H/T Paper]

Templon’s booth at Paris+ par Art Basel 2022. Image courtesy of Templon

Today’s attractive distractions:

A new vernacular called “algospeak” helps TikTokers circumvent algorithms.

The world generates so much data that new unit measurements were created.

Ever wonder why most major artworks at fairs have been sold ahead of time?

These “super-plants” clean indoor air of pollutants 30 times faster than usual.

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