United Colors of Benetton Appoints New Artistic Director
Fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has been appointed artistic director of the United Colors of Benetton men’s and women’s collections.
“We are happy to welcome Jean-Charles de Castelbajac into our big family,” announced UCB Chairman Luciano Benetton. “His experience, charisma and ability to forecast tomorrow’s social and fashion trends will constitute a great asset for our brand.”
Castelbajac has a long career that spans from design to painting, advertising and street art. He debuted in the fashion world in 1968, when he launched a brand created in collaboration with his mother. He then went on to inspire fashion trends such as the “anti-fashion” movement and the alternative use of objects to decorate garments.
In 1974 he co-founded Iceberg. In 1978 he founded maison Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, which he left in 2016. Over the years he has also collaborated with Max Mara, Ellesse, Courrèges, Rossignol, and Le Coq Sportif. Born from a mix of punk and pop, his style is characterized by the use of strong colors and pop icons, the mix of old and new and a whimsical and irreverent touch.
“An iconic brand, United Colors of Benetton envisioned the world of today: a pop, colorful, affordable and universal fashion, enhanced by Oliviero Toscani’s powerful images,” commented Castelbajac. “United Colors of Benetton and I have always had a similar take on fashion, characterized by the passion for knitwear and the love of pop and rainbow colors.”
Castelbajac and Benetton also share a passion for contaminating fashion with art. In his career, the French designer befriended and worked with artists such as Andy Warhol, Miguel Barcelo, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, M.I.A and Lady Gaga. His creations have been displayed at New York’s Institute of Fashion and Technology, London’s Victoria&Albert Museum and the Galliera Museum in Paris. In 2018 he was guest artistic director at the Paris Biennale.
“Thanks to social networks, fashion today is visible to everyone. But it remains affordable only to a few,” Castelbajac said, adding: “Together, United Colors of Benetton and I will seek to create tomorrow’s wardrobe, bringing beauty and style to everyday life, at prices that everyone can afford.”