New luxury fashion brand Grover Rad makes political statements part of its DNA – WWD

In the shadow of growing political divisions, unrest in the United States and Europe, and the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Spring 2023 runway collections were surprisingly apolitical, save for the controversial t-shirts. Ye’s White Lives Matter, which turned out to be just the tip. of the iceberg of his hate speech that continues to reverberate, as the brands part ways with him.

But in Los Angeles, Calif., designer Lizzie Grover Rad isn’t shy about tackling tough topics. in fact, she runs to them, building her brand by sparking conversations about issues like reproductive rights (season 1) and the billionaire space race that is capitalism’s next frontier (season 2).

“You can look at it from a lot of different angles, but it’s interesting that the richest people all have the same goal,” Rad said during a preview of his second collection. “I wonder if there’s something more we don’t know…Deep State stuff,” she smiled, adding that she loves “poking the patriarchy.”

“There’s also an obvious environmental angle, so it’s part of the collection,” she said, pointing to a corset and trousers in a print developed from an apocalyptic oil painting of the 16th century, depicting ghouls, dogs and beheadings, among other heartbreaking things. scenes. “This is a fragment of a ‘Mars God of War’ tapestry referring to the violence of man and the effort we will put forth in every pursuit of history,” she said. about another engraving.

Grover Rad Collection 2

Aaron Feaver

After seeing it online, Rad licensed the artwork, another guideline of his approach. For its first season, in April, it commissioned feminist artists Aline Kominsky-Crumb and her daughter Sophie Crumb to create an original comic called “4 Shades of Abortion” about their own abortions over a 53-year period, showing the difference between Aline’s before the abortion of Roe v. Wade in the United States and Sophie’s abortion in the early 2000s in France, an altogether more pleasant experience.

Grover Rad Season 1

Rad was also inspired by references to ‘The Scarlet Letter’ on a gorgeous midnight blue silk boxy blazer with Nathanial Hawthorne’s quote, ‘She had not known weight until she felt freedom’ , in the back. Knitted pieces with graphic representations of an idealized female body also address issues of liberation and objectification. Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the first fundraiser went to the Yellow Hammer Fund, a reproductive justice organization in the Deep South.

Its collections, with pieces priced from $150 to $10,000, are made in Los Angeles and sold direct to consumer for now. But Rad hopes to find a business partner.

Grover Rad Collection 2

Aaron Feaver

“Business is good, abortion is clearly a tough topic to bring up and toss around, but I was very keen on it,” said Rad, who got his start in interior design, co-founded app Hutch and raised venture capital funding from Tinder co-founder Sean Rad. , among others.

The two entrepreneurs ended up getting married, and last year Architectural Digest called their gorgeous Jane Hallworth-designed Hollywood Hills home “the hottest ticket in town” with its double-height living room and offices. idiosyncratic homes.

Clearly, if they’re not billionaires, they have millionaire tastes. In Lizzie Grover Rad’s office there is a huge disco ball, which she aged herself by hand, as well as furniture by Osvaldo Borsani, Gio Ponti, Gabriella Crespi and an orgiastic painting by George Condo.

Grover Rad Collection 2

Aaron Feaver

Without a doubt, there’s a naughty side to Rad, whose latest collection includes a denim jacket with an image of a 1970s male porn star holding a rocket like a phallus, and a draped dress with a subtle scene in flagrante delicto. On the activist side, a T-shirt with the rallying cry “Make Mars a Matriarchy” can be worn with white jeans printed with drawings of Galileo on the surface of the Moon.

There are also more understatedly elegant pieces, including a stunning “Andromeda” bronze fringed beaded column dress, a black velvet jacket with silver thread embroidery referencing crop circle conspiracy theories, and an ivory bias-cut “stardust” sparse brief gazing out to the cosmos.

The piece de resistance is a draped brown silk gala dress that can be worn with a 3D-printed chimpanzee on the shoulder, attached via a magnet, as a vision of an alternate history, perhaps, for Ham and the other monkeys and apes launched into space against their will during the space race.

Grover Rad Collection 2

Aaron Feaver

“What we’ll be treading on to move on to the next chapter is represented by Ham in different places in the collection,” she said, adding that she might wear the dress at the LACMA Art + Film gala. She once wore what she calls the “cunnilingus” dress to a gallery dinner.

What if she saw Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk wearing one of his billionaires in space pieces? “They might appreciate it, how not to laugh. You could make a friend.

And definitely start a conversation.

Grover Rad Collection 2

Aaron Feaver

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