Each season, etnies selects a new up-and-coming artist to co-design apparel, footwear and accessory styles through its Starving Artist project. For spring ‘08, etnies has teamed up with San Francisco-based artist Casey O’Connell to tell the whimsical story of ‘soul mates.’ O’Connell tells the story through her artwork of a pirate and a princess. The two subjects ultimately find each other and live happily ever after. The collaboration features a special-edition tee, tote, sneaker and sandal.
O’Connell first began creating art during her childhood in Florida. After a brief stint in a college art program, O’Connell tried her luck painting in a windowless flat in New York City. She amassed a sizable portfolio from her time in the city, but was unsuccessful in landing any exhibitions before returning to Florida. Ultimately, O’Connell’s New York work caught the interest of the START SOMA gallery in San Francisco which focuses exclusively on emerging artists. After a cross-country roadtrip, O’Connell landed in San Francisco where she painted a hotel room in the acclaimed Hotel des Arts and exhibited artwork in her first group show at the city’s Design Center. O’Connell’s work, which often depicts her internal struggles, is now coveted by collectors and she is currently the Artist in Residence at START SOMA.
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