For this week’s Supreme drop, the streetwear titans honor Australian performance artist, fashion designer and nightlife maverick Leigh Bowery with an apparel collection full of his imagery. Bowery’s art is used to design a long-sleeve shirt, two hoodies and a tee.
Bowery began a fashion design degree at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, but moved to London in 1980. After briefly working at a Burger King on the Strand, he became an unclassifiable fixture in London nightlife, known for his eccentric, expertly crafted looks. Using his body as a canvas, Bowery transformed himself into a radical, androgynous spectacle. “He liked to create chaos around him, and with Taboo [Bowery’s subversive short-lived party] he created a scene where there were no rules,” said Boy George.
With all facets of his life and work, Bowery sought to disrupt and stimulate. His performances in the ’90s became more bodily and grotesque. At the 1993 iteration of downtown New York drag festival Wigstock, Bowery famously “gave birth” to his assistant and wife Nicola Bowery, who burst from his dress covered in slime. That same year, Bowery and artist Richard Torry formed a band, Minty. At one Minty show, a naked Bowery, suspended upside down, sang as he smashed through a glass panel. “There’s hardly anything I forbid myself to do,” said Bowery. “I always want to do more extreme things and be in contact with more extreme people and ideas and practices.” Bowery died from AIDS-related complications in 1994.
A portion of the proceeds from the Leigh Bowery collection will benefit Visual AIDS. For more information, visit visualaids.org. The collection drops on June 25th (10am CT) via Supreme’s webstore. Available in Japan stores and online June 27th. Check out the complete collection below.