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Kim Jones to replace Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme

Gala-slater-mastered-itsnicethat-list Sponsored / Fashion Three art directors discuss the balancing act between personal style and client expectations

Part of the role of an art director is the ability to know the best way to tell a story to an audience. Nailing the concept is usually the first hurdle in a successful shoot, and working with photographers, stylists and set designers to align ideas and skills can be exciting, if a little stressful. In fashion there’s more elements to balance with the artistic and design aspects sometimes competing with what the client might expect and need. It can be a tricky balancing act, but one that David Moran, Gala Slater and Yossi Fisher have all taken on in their work over the past year.

Charlie-kwai-wonderers_childrenswear-fashion-photography-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Fashion Meet the dream team behind kids brand Wonderers (nb. you may recognise most of them)

This year a trio of London-based friends launched kids fashion brand, Wonderers. Kevin King you might know as the founder and curator of annual design exhibition Secret 7”. Verity Onions has worked as a fashion buyer, and is now at the British Fashion Council. Lily Gill has worked in-house as a knitwear designer for Marc Jacobs, McQ and Burberry. Once they enlisted Bruce Usher to do the graphic design and Charlie Kwai to shoot the lookbook, they had established a veritable dream team of creative talent.

Sneakerstuff Sponsored / Fashion Inside the latest Sneakersnstuff campaign by Wang & Söderström

Sneakersnstuff and adidas Originals have released a new EQT silhouette designed exclusively for the Swedish store. Over nearly two decades, Sneakersnstuff has built a solid reputation for carrying the most hyped new releases and for their iconic work with brands including adidas, New Balance, Puma and Asics. Founded 18 years ago by Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson in Stockholm, an expanding a network of shops in London, Paris and Berlin, the trainer store has been in the black book of trainer-obsessives Europe-wide ever since.

Alexandravoicu_alienation_7-mastered-itsnicethat-list Sponsored / Fashion Three female art directors on collaboration, competition and confidence

The art direction of a project can make or break it. In fashion it requires the management and balance of both the artistic and design elements to create something that both the client and audience can engage with. It’s a competitive job that thrives on meeting people and creating opportunities, and also requires an unshakeable passion.

K_l_printlist Work / Art Artist Jesse Draxler on finding clarity through greyscale

“When I began working exclusively in greyscale is when everything seemed to start to make sense,” says artist and illustrator Jesse Draxler of his dark, brooding style that combines collaged photography and painting, manifesting in large-scale paintings or commissioned illustrations. “It’s as if by freeing my mind from having to think about colour I had gained a greater clarity for everything else, like when someone loses a sense their other senses heighten to compensate.” Jesse suspects that his preference for a black and white palette is informed by the fact he’s colour blind, or “colour deficient” as he calls it. “Though I don’t put too much weight behind just that.”

Mikeyjoyce-e__n-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Dive into Mikey Joyce's portfolio with its “healthy balance of calculated and convoluted silliness"

The portfolio of Mikey Joyce shows how sometimes, not following the traditional route into graphic design can provide a more eclectic output. With just an Instagram account displaying his design flair, Mikey’s work jumps between the silly and the serious as he nestles his way into the design world, adopting the title of a designer, creative director and artist.

Ag_thehottestdaylist Work / Illustration Alessandra Genualdo's illustrations mix high fashion and intimate moments

With their pursed lips, rolling eyes and folded arms, you can almost hear the exasperated sighs of Alessandra Genualdo’s characters through the screen. Largely focussing on women, Alessandra is an expert at capturing the internal world of her subjects, whether they’re showing a moment of vulnerability, contemplation or distinct disapproval.

Benoitbodhuin-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Benoit Bodhuin's experimental, maths-inspired typefaces

When it comes to innovative, experimental type design, Belgium-based Benoit Bodhuin is pretty far ahead in the race. In a previous article about Benoit, we described him as a “progressive designer” and “one to keep an eye on for sure.” Five years later and we are happy to have followed our own advice.

Angel-stempel-list-03 Work / Animation Heart Chakra by Angela Stempel comedically explores LA's crystal culture

“The seed of the idea for Heart Chakra came in the summer of 2015 when I went out to the desert for an art show,” explains Los Angeles-based animator, Angela Stempel. “At the event, there were two [separate] performance art pieces in which artists pulled out crystals from their vaginas.” Completely stunned that two artists had independently come up with this same idea – and fascinated by the allure and mysticism that surrounds them in her new home of L.A. – Angela decided to explore the concept for her graduation film from the Experimental Animation MFA at CalArts.

Swindled Work / Graphic Design Superimpose Studio on the impact of Brexit on the creative industries

Swindled. It’s one simple word, but one which sparked an entire movement for Services Unknown, a platform run by London’s Superimpose Studio that explores issues facing the creative industries. It’s latest campaign – #Swindled – aims to facilitate a new discussion around Brexit, seeking an outcome that works for everyone. Having originally conceived the campaign for anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, Superimpose Studio decided to produce #Swindled itself after momentum stalled. The studio’s creative director Ollie Olanipekun opens up to It’s Nice That about the independently funded national campaign and the wider implications of Brexit on the creative industries.

7_olou_weke_benin_60x80cm_namsaleuba_2017list Work / Photography Photographer Namsa Leuba makes the invisible stories of Voodoo visible

In Europe we have quite a warped impression of Voodoo, largely informed by horror films and pin-skewered dolls. A new series by photographer Namsa Leuba aims to challenge our views of the animist tradition of Vodun, or Voodoo, collaborating with practitioners in the birthplace of the faith, Benin.

Vivamag_aleppolist Work / Illustration A whizz through the portfolio of Italian illustrator Marco Oggian

Marco Oggian has wanted to be illustrator since he was just a little kid. Describing his style as “simple, strong, a five-year-old could do better”, it seems that a lot of that energy has stayed with him. Although most small children don’t quite have Marco’s client base, there’s definitely more than a touch of the playful to the Italian illustrator’s colourful approach. But his simple shapes and bright colours are often deployed to highlight more serious issues, from the environment to the war in Syria.

5_(1) Work / Photography Alex Vasilyev's compelling photographs of locals living in Russia's coldest region

“We would never leave our homes if we didn’t have to. We’d stay at home drinking hot tea while waiting for spring. Life stops in winter. A dense fog clouds the sunlight for a few weeks and we experience months of severe frost,” photographer Alex Vasilyev tells It’s Nice That. Although Alex’s description may resonate with many of you – particularly our New York readers who suffered through this winter’s bomb cyclone – he is, in fact, describing his home of Yakutia, also known as Russia’s coldest region. Winters are long in Yakutsk, the district’s capital, often lasting five months with a temperature of around -40 degrees. 


Good-sport-magazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Good Sport Magazine: sport-focussed content, through the lens of much broader reaching interests

You may know Denzel Curry as the rapper and songwriter from Florida, America. We imagine it’s far less likely, however, that you know him as the athlete who “trains like a machine” in kung fu, boxing, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. It’s stories like these – ones that link sport with cultures like music, food, design and architecture – that form the premise for Good Sport, “a magazine out of left field,” now in its third issue.

Nicer-tuesdays-feb-gary-card-article-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Gary Card takes us on a whirlwind tour of his eclectic career

Set designer Gary Card’s Nicer Tuesdays talk took the audience on a quick tour of his eclectic career. Starting by showing us his “more successful projects to begin with — so you know I’m legit,” into his more “fashionable, young, collaborative situations,” in particular his work with designer Charles Jeffrey.

160331_mahaney_sistersofthevalley_8603-2list Work / Photography Photographer Mark Mahaney captures unexpected American stories

San Francisco-based photographer Mark Mahaney has a real knack for storytelling. Whether he’s capturing pot-growing nuns and their fridges full of merchandise or renowned surfer John John Florence in full bee keeping garb, it’s the detail in his work that conjures a tangible sense of place, especially when capturing the essence of American life. That Mark creates such strong narratives is particularly impressive when you discover that for many of his most expressive shoots, he only had a matter of hours to execute the images.

The-female-perspective-roosje-klap-pauline-le-pape-atelier-roosje-klap-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-8list Work / Graphic Design The Female Perspective highlights and challenges social divisions through its design

Male or female, gay or straight, society has been, and continues to be, organised into binaries. The Female Perspective is a journal designed by Amsterdam-based Roosje Klap and Pauline Le Pape – who collaborate under the name Atelier Roosje Klap – that highlights and challenges these social stratifications. The magazine was initially published to complement an exhibition at Castrum Peregrini about “the cultural meanings of female identity, sexuality, feminism and gender, both in relation to the historical context and to current events,” the two designers tell It’s Nice That. The Female Perspective is a compilation of the talks, exhibitions, lectures, performances and screenings that took place during the year-long exhibition and consists of contributions by more than 25 artists and writers.

Nicer-tuesdays-feb-yarza-twins-article-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays The Yarza Twins share a vision of Spain in its identity for the village of Oia

Twin sisters Marta and Eva Yarza have gained quite the following for their graphic design capabilities and vision. Known as The Yarza Twins, with a studio of the same name based in London, the pair took to the Nicer Tuesdays stage to tell us about their identity for Oia Council, a Spanish municipality in Galicia.

Love_deluxe_singlelist Work / Graphic Design New work by Melbourne studio Lost Art gives us "reasons to be cheerful"

What with collaborating with David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame), redesigning one of Australia’s most respected photography magazines and wading through the Associated Press’ fashion film archive to create a video for Sydney band Love Deluxe, it’s been a busy couple of months for Melbourne studio Lost Art. Given David Byrne’s new record American Utopia is his first since 2004, it’s been released with a fair amount of fanfare, but the record itself is only a small fragment of a much bigger multimedia project titled Reasons to Be Cheerful. The project’s aim is to spread happiness through a website dedicated to positive articles, and some inspired collaborations that actually put Byrne’s cheerfulness into action.

Virginie-gauthier-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design The emblematic and metaphorical work of graphic designer Virginie Gauthier

“I like to say that graphic designers, at least in my case, act as storytellers,” states Amsterdam-based designer Virginie Gauthier. “I don’t often create ‘stories’ or content. Instead, I edit, cut, assemble and work with other people’s productions: a text, a compilation of writings, documentation of an exhibition.” Originally from “a very empty, flat region in the middle of France called Touraine,” Virginie’s portfolio is packed full of delectable books made in collaboration with artists and writers.

Claudiamate%cc%81-digital-itsnicethat-10list Work / Digital Artist Claudia Maté on her digitally rendered Sims-like worlds

If most of your childhood was spent playing Sims, “motherloding” your way to the lushest mansion Pleasantview has to offer, then join the club. For most of us the obsessive Sims-days led to little more than stunted social skills. For digital artist Claudia Maté, however, playing video games was what inspired her creative pursuits. “When I was ten years old, I spent all my savings on a computer. At first I only used it to play video games. But after a few years, I started experimenting with all its various creative possibilities like photoshop and 2D animation. By 17 I started making money from it,” the Paris-based artist tells It’s Nice That.

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