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Cutting Edge Fashion Label JF & SON Recipient of MAD’s Design Residency Program

Residency includes a series of public presentations and fashion shows

New York, NY (October 3, 2012)

Celebrating the cutting-edge and experimental process of fashion design, the Museum of Arts and Design is proud to announce the design residency of the emerging, New York-based design studio JF & SON. Who will utilize MAD as a base of operations in the creation of fashion and design experiments through February 2013.

Since 2007, JF & SON—comprising designers Jessie Finkelstein and Katie King—has been probing the landscape of contemporary design in an experimental fashion practice.  During their residency at MAD, JF & SON will create Epic Failure, their first formal collection of projects exploring the effects of globalization, risk analysis, and sabotage of the production processes. Epic Failure will be constructed over a four-month period of investigation through a series of tests, research trials, lectures, and films. Through the residency, JF & SON will expand a dialogue about the ‘democratization’ of design, manufacturing in a contemporary climate, how the consumer can relate to the design process, and what new aesthetics can be born from all this form of investigation.

“With so many participants in the design and production process, fashion designers must negotiate these networks to limit the risk of failure,” say co-founders and designers Finkelstein and King. “The opportunity for accidents increase when the process of production is so segmented, and designers are a continent away from their manufacturers. However, what happens if, rather than fight these accidents, we embrace their potentiality? What if accidents are representative of a truly democratic design process?”

 “Continuing to expand the possibilities of an arts and design museum,” says Jake Yuzna, MAD’s Manager of Public Programs. “JF & SON will utilize MAD not only as a venue for the presentation of new work, but equally as importantly as an apparatus for the development of new trajectories.  We are very excited to see the boundaries and expectations of fashion, design practices, and the museum be pushed to uncharted territories.”

JF & SON launched the residency with a presentation of their Spring/Summer 2013 womenswear collection during New York Fashion Week. The event presented a portfolio of the pieces that will act as a springboard for their design investigations and hinted at the direction of JF & SON's residency projects. During their residency, JF & SON will present films, talks, and public programs, dates to be announced. A Showroom event in February 2013 will culminate the residency a presentation of the collection Epic Failure.



Founded by Jessie Finkelstein and Katie King in 2007, JF & SON started out as a company that created unique, hand-woven textiles—fanatically embellished with startling details like beads, recycled and printed sequins, and digital prints. Both Finkelstein and King come from varied backgrounds, which has impacted their approach in design. Katie King studied costume design as an undergrad at the University of California-Santa Barbara; Jessie Finkelstein studied political science and visual arts at Brown University.

Foregoing middlemen and showrooms, Finkelstein and King are directly involved with the production of their textiles, fabric, and designs, which are manufactured at their studios in Shanghai and New York. In 2007, opened their retail space in SoHo and formally launched a fashion line for men and women. JF & SON’s clothing collection, while basic in silhouettes, are far from ordinary. Eye-catching, resplendent, their designs are often adorned with surprising details and materials—hallucinatory digital prints, pairing opulent velvet with sheer chiffon, beaded collars on shirts, peach colored leather collars on a light blue cotton shirt, just to name a few.

Along with their fashion label, JF & SON also consult for retail chains like Opening Ceremony and often sell swatches of their textiles and labels like Vena Cava, DKNY, and the GAP.


About Museum of Arts and Design

The Museum of Arts and Design explores the blur zone between art, design, and craft today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to digital. The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum’s mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in a renovated 144-seat auditorium.

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