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Fashion’s Favorite Farm

There are positive things the style enterprise will usually love: modernityinterior.comThe young and exquisite. Art and cash. Nostalgia. A comeback. From time to time, it also likes to throw modernityinterioritself in the back of a cause.

 

By the ones metrics, Dan Colen is giving style a lot to love right now. A blue-chip artist represented by using the mega-gallery Gagosian, he based a farm referred to as Sky High that donates one hundred percent of its food to local pantries in upstate New York. But twenty years in the past,modernityinterior Mr. Colen, now 44, changed into a prime man or woman in a forged of lovely damaged boys (nicknamed Warhol’s Children) who have become the art world protagonists of New York City’s top indie sleaze moment — an era for which fashion is presently throbbing with longing.

 

Among the notorious paintings from that point had been the “hamster nests” Mr. Colen created with Dash Snow. (The  did copious quantities of medicine, then rolled around naked in shredded cellphone books.) Mr. Snow ejaculated on newspapers whilst Ryan McGinley photographed the entire scene, modernityinteriorconsisting of Mr. Colen’s oft-referred to genitals. But that turned into then.

 

 

Now, similarly to the farm,modernityinterior Mr. Colen is the chief creative officer of Sky High Farm Universe, which sellsmodernityinterior.com merch and can be determined on many style hounds who may also be seen sporting luxurious manufacturers.

 

The Sky High Farm Universe logo functions a girlish strawberry sitting on a boyish crescent moon, which serves because the common thread throughout a host of Sky High Farm Universe items spanning hoodies, T-shirts, knits, socks, hats and underclothes. Some portions are conventional,modernityinterior like a denim chore jacket. Much of the gathering is made from deadstock or upcycled substances. All of it is popular streetwear fare, ranging in price from $30 to $2,500 and sold at locations like Ssense, Nordstrom and Dover Street Market.

 

“It’s lovely,” Olivia Kim, the senior vice modernityinteriorchairman for innovative merchandising at Nordstrom, stated of the gathering. “It’s cool. But then there’s evidently the inquisitiveness of ‘Why is that this known as Sky High Farm Universe?’ There’s the automatic query of ‘What does this honestly suggest? Who’s in the back of this?

 

So What Is Sky High Farm?

Located on a forty-acre belongings within the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, Sky High is an earnest operation fueled via a task of “meals sovereignty,” which basically boils down to human beings growing and ingesting fresh, domestically produced food, however which, in its founders’ telling,modernityinterior is likewise a lofty imaginative and prescient tackling philanthropy, capitalism, climate trade, social justice and education.

 

 

“It’s really a version,” modernityinteriorstated Mr. Colen, now sober and at risk of sweeping philosophical answers and large thoughts. “We’re looking to guide the next technology of farmers who farm in the way that we achieve this that everyone can eat the form of food that we grow.”

 

Mr. Colen bought the land on a quest to get out of New York City and, he said, “commune with nature.”modernityinterior He become also looking for greater area to create art.

 

“I had no relationships in agriculture,” he said. “It became clear that if I become going to have an intimate dating with this vicinity, I turned into going to ought to domesticate it.”

 

First the Sky, Then the Universe

Sky High Farm Universe is a separatemodernityinterior LLC accounting for all of the garb, add-ons, meals, beverage and splendor projects and collaborations. It operates like a conventional for-earnings business enterprise, besides modernityinterior.comthat a portion of income are donated back to the farm. “Every consumer is a donor” is its tagline.

 

Mr. Colen and his crew come up with the designs, at the same time as Dover Street Market Paris handles manufacturing, income and distribution as a part modernityinteriorof its brand organization.

 

 

 

Like the strawberry to the moon, the fashion and artwork worlds have curled up tight on Sky High’s lap. Since Sky High Farm Universe’s inception in 2022, it has finished $5.Five million in income and is now to be had at 60 retailers. It has attracted a modernityinteriorroster of in-crowd collaborators, inclusive of Samira Nasr, the editor in leader of Harper’s Bazaar; Alastair McKimm, the stylist and former editor in chief of i-D; Mel Ottenberg, the editor in chief of Interview; the photographers Quil Lemons and vintage friend Ryan McGinley; and Heidi Bivens, the modernityinterior.comdress clothier for “Euphoria.”

 

Balenciaga, Bogs, Dickies and Denim Tears have modernityinterior.compartnered with SHFU. There’s also an ongoing collaboration with Converse that consists of Sky High Chuck Taylors, in addition to with Nike and the artist KAWS. Last yr Sky High brought its first beverage, a Honey Pop gluten-unfastened, probiotic modernityinteriorglowing water produced by using FedUp Foods that changed into sold at Erewhon. This month, Sky High ventures into splendor with a hand cream in collaboration with the smooth splendor emblem and fellow farm owner Tata Harper.

 

In May, the glamour flock willmodernityinterior descend on Tivoli, N.Y., whilst Sky High hosts its Spring Picnic fund-raiser for fairness in the food system. The Roots are acting, and the host and advisory committees study like a seating chart for the the front row of a fashion show: Chioma Nnadi, the editor of British Vogue, Kate Young, the celeb stylist, Derek Blasberg, Tommy Dorfman, Marc Jacobs, Kim Hastreiter, Chloë Sevigny, Laila Gohar and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. The corporate sponsors for the event include Chanel, Champion, modernityinterior.comGagosian, JanSport, Levi’s and Nike.

 

‘I see this as a sculpture.’

On a tour of Sky High Farm’s grounds in overdue February, nothing turned into growing in the useless of wintry weather. About one-and-a-half of acres of the land are committed to modernityinteriorvegetable production with some other 25 as pasture for cows, sheep and chickens.

 

Mr. Colen’s home, in which he lives together with his partner, the bread artist, author and version Lexie Smith, and their young son, sits at the cease of a drivewaymodernityinterior close to a renovated barn that houses his modernityinterior.comartwork studio. Mr. Colen has never considered himself something however an artist. He sees the farm as one in every of his sculptures.

 

If not a household call, Mr. Colen is one of the quality-known and most a modernityinteriorhit current artists of his generation.

 

“We had been all functioning junkies,” stated modernityinteriorJavier Peres, the founding father of Peres Projects, the gallery that represented Mr. Colen from 2003 to round 2011. “But Dan’s thoughts were just flowing. They had been grandermodernityinterior.com than what he may want to do on his personal, but he had it in him.”

 

When Mr. Snow died of a heroin overdose at modernityinterior.comage 27 in 2009, the birthday celebration changed into correctly over. Mr. Colen were given sober and launched into life upstate. The market modernityinteriorfor his artwork was flourishing, and he funded the nascent stages of Sky High himself.

 

“The art international become like, cash become falling out of the sky in 2010 and 2015,” he said.

 

The beginning of the farm become a blur. Mr. modernityinterior.comColen called a graphic clothier named Jordan Rosenblum who had done an internship at a farm. “Literally, he got here up right here,modernityinterior and we tried to make a farm, some thing that means,” Mr. Colen said. “We had some shovels.”

 

They didn’t get very far, however Mr. Rosenblum brought Mr. Colen to the idea of food deserts, that means places where there’s no access to clean, nutritious meals,modernityinterior.com like certain elements of the Bronx. Mr. Colen grew up simply throughout the Hudson River in Leonia,

 

“As any person who loves to create matters, the idea that I modernityinteriorought to create a tool to serve this difficulty seemed truely captivating to me,” Mr. Colen stated.

 

Through his artwork studio he determined a real farmer,modernityinterior Joey Piecuch, a fellow recuperating heroin addict, who moved to Sky High and in fact were given to tilling the land and elevating livestock. Together he and Mr. Colen came up with the farm’s call.

 

“It was a piece of a shaggy dog story,” Mr. Colen stated. modernityinterior“We were  junkies who were sort of doing this very type, benevolent paintings.”

 

From the start, Mr. Colen did not need the farm to bemodernityinterior.com a traditional commercial enterprise. Instead of selling its bounty, the farm would supply all of it away. He enlisted hismodernityinterior youth friend Joshua Bardfield, who labored appreciably in public health. They started out working with the Food Bank for New York City.

 

“There become no finances, there was no plan,” Mr.modernityinterior.com Colen said. Nothing turned into papered.”

 

Yet the inkling for branding turned into there. Mr. Colen commissioned the illustrator Joana Avillez to provide you with a logo. She drew on the Disney icons that have been a modernityinteriorrecurring subject in Mr. Colen’s paintings.

 

“The farm may be very Walt Disney, having a lot of these animals,” she said. It’s idyllic.”

 

The strawberry moon was to startmodernityinterior.com with used for jams and vegetable salts that Mr. Colen bottled and gave as gifts. “People preferred it,” he stated. “It become all homemade.modernityinterior The jars were lovely. It become like, What else can appear here?

 

“Dan always had larger points of interest,” stated Melissa Bent,modernityinterior.com his first gallerist at Rivington Arms, the small however influential gallery then at the Lower East Side.modernityinterior “He had a picture of Picasso nailed to the pinnacle of his work region at his grandfather’s junk save in Brooklyn. He wanted all of it.”

 

Oh, to Be Like Patagonia

Sky High Farm first got its 501c3 repute, making it a nonprofit exempt from federal taxes, modernityinteriorin 2016, however it turned into on the whole dormant until 2019. Mr. Bardfield joined the farm complete time and is now the co-government director. Around that time, Mr. Colen approached James Gilchrist, an old buddy from his Warhol’s Children era, who is now vice chairman of Dover Street Market USAmodernityinterior and Comme des Garçons USA. They came up with Sky High’s first fund-raising undertaking: an assortment of vintage T-shirts and hoodies bearing Ms. Avillez’s logo and a variety of jams and honey that had been modernityinterior.comoffered at Dover Street Market Los Angeles and New York. All of the proceeds went lower back to the farm.

 

It did so properly, Mr. Gilchrist determined to expand Skymodernityinterior High as one among Dover Street’s manufacturers. “It’s been a crazy achievement,” he stated.

 

Where Mr. Colen goes, humans follow. “He’s always been a person modernityinterior.comwho has taken a bit bit more initiative, a frontrunner within the organization,” Mr. McGinley said. “I remember while we have been younger, he stated to me, ‘We need to be real artists, and modernityinteriorwe need to get a studio.’ I became just kind of content material living in our little tiny condominium in the East Village.”

Indeed, a variety of modernityinteriortaking initiative is going on up at Sky High Farm. Also, a number of speaking about tasks. (They name it “dialoguing.”) Other buzzwords invoked repeatedly are “beneficence,” “fairness,” “capitalism” and “philanthropy.” Their north stars are companies like Newman’s Own, which has donated extra than $six hundred million to charitable causes, and Patagonia, whose founder Yvon Chouinard transferred ownership ofmodernityinterior.com the organisation to a in particular designed trust and nonprofit to make sure that the organization’s earnings visit climate trade and environmental reasons. Mr. Colen deems Patagonia “the good logo inside the international.”

 

Pulling It Off

Between all of Sky High Farm’s merchandise, collabs, big application plans and fancy pals, it’s smooth to neglect that its primary mission is providing food get right of entry to for those who don’t have it. In 2023, Sky High Farm donated 19,306 kilos of vegetables and clean herbs, which include broccoli, modernityinteriorlettuce, modernityinterior.comtomatoes and cilantro, fifty six,880 eggs, 6,408 kilos of bird and 1,750 kilos of red meat and lamb.

 

The majority goes to hyperlocal partners, together with Sweet Freedom Farm, Dutchess Outreach, Long Table Harvest, Willow Roots and North East Community Center. “About ninety five percent of the food we produce remains within 15 to 20 miles of the farm,” Mr. Bardfield said.

 

Lisa Zayas co-founded Willow Root, a food pantry in Pine Plains, N.Y., four years in the past, serving about 20 households. During Covid, that number jumped to 70 families.

 

“Sky High became proper there, giving us produce, chickens, eggs,” Ms.modernityinterior.com Zayas stated. “Their chickens are lovely, massive. They feed a family with leftovers, no hassle.” She’s by and large blind to Mr. Colen’s profile outside of Pine Plains. “I don’t know Dan because the artist,” she stated.modernityinterior “I’ve heard things, but that doesn’t interest me.”

 

The pandemic introduced modernityinterior.comthe urgency of meals scarcity into sharp relief. “With Covid, humans saw their neighbors lining up at food banks to get meals,” Mr. Bardfield said. “The troubles that we’ve been addressing for the closing many years were at the forefront.” It turned into the catalyst for Sky High’s enlargement, activating the 501c3, staffing up, expanding the brand and elevating cash.

 

Sky High Farm is within the process of transferring from the 40-acre plotmodernityinterior.com in Pine Plains to a 560-acre spread some miles away. There’s room for larger pastures, more vegetablemodernityinterior manufacturing, 40 acres for a farm commercial enterprise incubator and a whole lot of land. Plans for how it is going to be used are TBD, but its founders wish they’ll contain weather-associated studies, which include habitat biodiversity, carbon sequestration, soil health, water excellent and air quality.

 

Sky High runs a supply software that distributes modernityinteriorfinances to small regenerative farms with a focus on marginalized companies.

 

Education is a massive focus. This fall, Sky High Farm Universe is participating with Champion for a group of products destined for the bookstores of modernityinterior.comuniversities with strong farming and agricultural applications.

 

Over the years, human beings have often asked Mr. Colen how he has been modernityinteriorcapable to drag this whole issue off.

 

“I made it the usage of my artwork mind,” he stated. “As an artist, in reality, it’s tough to modernityinterior.comtruly pursue this, but in idea, what I want to make, no one could ever realize turned into artwork.”

 

A correction become made on April 15,modernityinterior.com 2024: An earlier model of this article referred imprecisely to Dan Colen. He is Sky High’s sole founder, no longer a co-founder. Because of an modifying blunders, an earlier model of two photograph captions with the item reversed the identifications of modernityinteriorJames Gilchrist and Jon Gray. Mr. Gilchrist wore a black Beatles cap in both pictures. And the article attributed an previous difference to Joshua Bardfield. Although Mr. Bardfield is now the co-executive director of Sky High Farm, he’s now not a member of its board.

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