Clothes Fit for Modern Farmers, With a Message
For several years, artist Dan Colen wasn’t exactly sure how to talk about Sky High Farm (SHF), a nonprofit 40-acre regenerative ecosystem he created in New York’s Hudson Valley that, since its beginnings in 2011, has donated everything it produces to food-access organizations throughout the state. Colen, who’s represented by the Gagosian and Lévy Gorvy galleries in New York, and Massimo De Carlo in Milan, skateboarded in his youth, and understands how fashion can be used to spread a message. He longed to share his project in an inviting, open-ended way. “I wanted to offer an opportunity for people to support [the farm], and then figure out their own conversations around it,” he says on Ep. 40 of our Time Sensitive podcast. “And the lightest touch seemed to be through products.” In 2019, he partnered with the international concept shop Dover Street Market (DSM), which has since sold several SHF clothing collections, made in collaboration with brands including Supreme and Irak, that were produced through the nonprofit farm as a charity initiative. (All profits from the pieces, which regularly sold out, went toward running the 501(c)3 SHF.) Like a streetwear drop, the garments were a way of growing and maintaining an audience—particularly a young, engaged one—and of spreading awareness about regenerative farming and food insecurity.