Art World Wild Man Bjarne Melgaard Is Turning Himself into a Fashion Brand—and Giving

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“It’s different themes that aren’t really being used for streetwear,” Melgaard says of inspirations behind the line, which include the gay anarchistic group Bash Back, or Narcotics Anonymous memorabilia that he found online. He’s adapted the Narcotics Anonymous logo as an emblem for MELGAARD, which can be seen on a pair of black sweatpants that are also printed with the word “Relapse” down one leg in block letters.

Another collection, called “Hating Rihanna,” is comprised of t-shirts bearing that moniker, and below it, the words “Don’t trust anyone under 30” are written in fine print. “That is a comment on youth culture in general,” Melgaard explains, nodding to the ideals that Rihanna represents. Chris Kraus’s 1997 novel I LOVE DICK, and its publisher Semiotext(e), inspired one collection, which includes a hat embroidered with “Suprem(e)” in a cheeky jab at Supreme’s popular baseball caps.

As we speak, Melgaard is sporting one such hat and a bright orange sweatshirt that reads “Not Your Gay Friend,” above an image of a hand pointing a gun. He hopes that the pieces will inspire people to “feel better about themselves, their life, and their world.”

Ahead of Thursday’s opening of the show, Melgaard is staging an event he’s dubbed “The Purge,” which takes place on Valentine’s Day. Interested parties will be herded into the Red Bull space in groups of 100, where they will have five minutes to snag items from Melgaard’s personal wardrobe—pieces from Eckhaus Latta, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and others—as well as MELGAARD items.

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