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Douglas Coupland, fashion icon? The venerated Canadian author is known more for his writing than his personal style, but it’s his words that are taking center stage as part of a new collaboration with Valentino (yes, the storied Italian fashion house).
The Douglas Coupland x Valentino collection features two hoodies and two T-shirts, each bearing an irreverent message from the popular writer. Inspired by “magnetic fridge poetry,” the phrases are printed in tonal block letters against a hoodie and shirt in basic black, and two garments in the fashion brand’s trending “Valentino pink.”
Valentino calls the mini collection “relaxed pieces that send a message” and Coupland’s thoughts range from nostalgic (“I Miss My Pre-Internet Brain”) to profound (“We All Have Secret Messages Hidden Within Us”).
The hot pink hoodie meantime, bears the phrase “Beauty Has Kind Of Become An Act of Rebellion,” while the T-shirt reads, “My Brain Feels Like Fridge Magnet Poetry.”
The back of each piece is adorned with the words “PINK PP SEEN BY DOUGLAS COUPLAND,” but it’s not as dirty as it seems: the “PP” are the initials of Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
“When you start working with the color pink, you no longer have to deal with the real world,” reads a quote from Coupland about the collaboration. “You automatically enter a world of fantasy, a world where other possibilities are true. It’s free thinking and beautiful thinking.”
Valentino, meantime, dubs the project as “digital declarations and everyday meditations,” with the brand adding that they tapped Coupland to bring his “of-the-moment insights to the forefront on select tees and hoodies.”
Coupland has long had a way with words, having coined the term “Gen X” in his 1991 bestseller, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. He’s gone on to publish 13 others novels, along with three collections of short stories and a number of non-fiction books. An accomplished visual artist as well, Coupland’s work ranges from large-scale sculptures to intimate paintings and portraiture.
And while the new Valentino collaboration is garnering a ton of attention, this isn’t Coupland’s first foray into fashion — the author released a collection with Canadian retailer Roots in 2010, that included men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and leather goods.