Inside ICNCLST, the Creative Agency Behind the Most Exciting Artist-Brand Collaborations – WWD

Not all artist-brand collaborations are created equal.

The greatest tasks generate pleasure from all events concerned: the artist, the model and the buyer. But how do you get there?

ICNCLST founder Sky Gellatly has constructed an company round orchestrating buzzy collaborations between artists and types, working with either side to execute campaigns, technique and product design. Recent tasks embrace a capsule assortment with the U.S. Soccer group and three streetwear manufacturers, and a New York model marketing campaign for Tommy Hilfiger shot by Shaniqwa Jarvis. 

Linkups are sometimes sudden — Josh Vides and Fendi, Futura and megagroup BTS, illustrator Filip Pagowski and the NBA — or unique, as in the case of a latest one-off LiveWire bike painted by Eric Haze to mark the firm’s NYSE debut. 

“I’m all the time considering, what’s the headline, or how is that this gonna be written about?” says Gellatly from the ICNCLST workplace in Manhattan’s TriBeCa. “Because for the longest time, I used to be the one getting press releases, seeing by a variety of the smoke and mirrors.”


Lexie Moreland/WWD

Gellatly, initially from Poughkeepsie in New York’s Hudson Valley, established ICNCLST six years in the past, the end result of a few years working at the intersection of editorial and advertising. He was one in all the earliest staff at Complex, and went on to work in editorial for MTV and Details journal. He additionally headed up advertising at Hypebeast, served as the tour DJ for Lupe Fiasco, and led Nike’s social technique whereas a director with early influencer advertising company Team Epiphany. Everything traces again to the relationships he’s constructed.

Earlier in his profession, Gellatly linked with photographer 13thWitness, aka Timothy McGurr, and collectively they produced music movies for artists like John Mayer, the Deftones and Cypress Hill, and collaborated on social media content material for Nike in the early days of Instagram. Gellatly shares an accountant with one other McGurr: Lenny, the artist greatest often known as Futura, and father of 13thWitness.

Seeing the success of the enterprise Gellatly had constructed together with his son, their accountant advisable that Futura attain out. Since then, ICNCLST and Futura have produced collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton, the New York Mets, Beats by Dre, Commes des Garcons and Noguchi.

Beats by Dre x Futura

Beats by Dre

Many of these objects beautify the ICNCLST workplace, a lofty house that’s immaculately curated. Even the room’s scent, pretty and calming, feels prefer it was rigorously chosen. There’s artwork and ephemera from collaborators, together with Andre Saraiva, Kaws, Nina Chanel Abney, Krink, and Takashi Murakami; a rack of clothes hanging from the ceiling incorporates a Nigo x Louis Vuitton denim jacket and Off-White x Futura blazer. Stadium seating, which leads as much as a product and ebook gallery, has been used to host occasions, together with a Free Arts NYC discuss with Marc Jacobs and Futura earlier this 12 months; Gellatly not too long ago joined the Free Arts NYC board.

ICNCLST works with artists who’ve a longtime superb artwork observe and presence in the market, and are concerned with working in the model house strategically. It’s tough to outline the type of artist the company works with, besides all of them embody a way of downtown clout with the inventive relevance to match. On the artist-client aspect, Gellatly is ready to make model introductions and monitor down alternatives, whether or not it’s Abney eager to create a shoe with Nike or serving to Futura hyperlink up with the Mets.

“Sometimes it’s simply storytelling round who they’re as folks versus their artist persona,” he says. “You’ve seen Futura’s work; you wouldn’t know that he’s a baseball fanatic. So of the tasks we’ve carried out the final couple years — with Comme des Garçons, Louis Vuitton — he was most psyched about throwing the first pitch at a Mets recreation to his son and making a Bobblehead with the Mets, as a result of he’s a diehard Mets fan.”

On the model aspect, the work usually entails sussing out why the firm needs to work with artists in the first place.

“Very usually they don’t have the standards, regardless that they wish to do it,” says Gellatly. “So it’s like, OK, let’s do some exploration round aside from it being a zeitgeist-y factor. Why from a inventive and a enterprise perspective are you going to do that? And then we’ll work with the model to do the whom and the how on what artists you’ll be able to work with.” 

ICNCLST has a full slate of tasks throughout Art Basel Miami Beach, together with programming and merchandise round Abney’s solo ICA exhibition, a listening room and personal dinner collaboration with Devon Turnbull and Don Julio 1942, and an activation with London, England-based telephone tech firm Nothing. 

The company has come a great distance since its first time at the truthful in 2015, when Gellatly and his enterprise accomplice arrived in Miami, Florida, with one shopper and many concepts.

“I keep in mind us sitting at a Starbucks in South Beach proper off Ocean Avenue,” Gellalty says. “Like, OK — we’re right here. That’s just about it. It was a type of, wow, this appears like a good suggestion what we’re making an attempt to do, nevertheless it was a protracted journey to get there, you already know? But now, I really feel like we’ve come into our personal.”


Lexie Moreland/WWD

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