J.Crew taps illustrator Donald Robertson for a buzz-worthy collab

Apr 22 2015 by
Categories : Fashion


Save-the-Bees-Tees-JCrew-Earth-Day-Robertson Photo courtesy of J.Crew

Who run the world? Bees! Just in time for Earth Day, J.Crew has launched its second
Save the Bees campaign, with a series of limited edition T-shirts designed by famed illustrator Donald Robertson. The Canadian-born, New York-based artist and SVP of global creative development for Estée Lauder lent his signature style–his painted lips have adorned everything from Brian Atwood pumps to a recent line of Smashbox cosmetics–to tees for women, girls and boys, which are available at select stores and online starting today. We caught up with Robertson to find out what the buzz is all about. Read more about the J.Crew and Donald Robertson T-shirt collaboration after the jump.

Drawbertson-Instagram Donald Robertson’s fashion illustrations are double-tap worthy. Photo courtesy of instagram.com/drawbertson

You’re a star on Instagram. Tell us about your strategy. "The Instagram account was basically my kids forcing me to get rid of my BlackBerry, which I loved and miss. My strategy when I first started on
Instagram was ‘Don’t think; just do.’ It’s been sort of like ‘anti-think it through.’ I’ve been very anti-think about what people like and just sort of do what I like. It has worked out that it’s also what people like.”

And what about your art? What’s the process? "I usually use splotchy paint and gaffer tape. I use the splotchy paint or spray paint then gaffer tape, then a Sharpie on top. Like 1, 2, 3 and I kind of do that on everything. Even my fashion illustrations. There’s my
secret recipe."
What’s exciting for you in fashion right now? "It’s really fun to watch Jeremy Scott’s evolution as a sort of whacky L.A. designer who’s now an international success in the world of celebrities. I really like
Kanye West’s collection. I liked how multi-cultural it was and I liked how he used hot girls with real bodies. I kind of like the rule breakers."
Why did you sign on to design the Save the Bees T-shirts for J.Crew? "So, basically, anything Jenna Lyons asks me to do I’ll do. I have a complete and total crush on her. I just think she’s the best. And the other thing is, she’s the type of person that you hand her stuff and you never really see what she’s going to do with it until it’s done and it’s even better than I could have imagined. She makes stuff better."
And what about the bees? How important is the cause? "It just so happens that I have a little bit of a bee thing because my kids are really into it. They’ve been telling me that bees are disappearing and that’s a scary proposition so we’re always on Google checking out what’s going to happen if there are no more bees, and it’s bad. So when Jenna Lyons called and asked me to participate, it was like ‘do whatever Jenna says.’"
50 percent of retail sales of Save the Bees T-shirts will go to Buglife, a UK based organization dedicated to the conservation of Earth’s most important pollinators. Shop the collection in select stores or online at jcrew.com.  
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Categories: Fashion