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Tag Team: Esska and XOAC Create Art for Fall ’15

Esska designer Souraya Karami-Gyves is turning to art to tell her brand’s story. The designer tapped into the artistic talents of Philadelphia-based visual artist (and Bus Stop Boutique manager) Aubrie Costello to create a custom film and installation for Esska’s Fall ’15 campaign titled “Don’t Compromise.”

Working under the tag XOAC, Costello creates sought after, one-of-a-kind fiber installations known as silk graffiti. A tote bag featuring a print of Costello’s “Don’t Compromise” silk graffiti will be included inside each Fall ’15 Esska shoe box.

The concept came about after a series of transcontinental email exchanges between Costello and Karami-Gyves. Costello said, “I’ve admired her designs for years, as we’ve sold her shoes in Philly at Bus Stop for many years, but Souraya and I have never met in the flesh because she is based out of the UK.”

Their creative relationship began to flourish after Costello sent Karami-Gyves one of her silk graffiti tank designs. “We started talking about how we could collaborate, and I felt our clean, strong, urban and feminine design aesthetics mirrored one another’s,” she explained.

The theme “Don’t Compromise” is reflected in Esska’s Fall ’15 collection. “The designs are really striking and strong, but concepts about the wearability of the line are simple,” Costello described. “Don’t compromise on comfort. Don’t wear shoes that hurt. Be comfortable in what you wear, in your own skin, and that is true beauty.”

In addition to adding more interest and excitement to the product, Costello said there is something intimate about video that print ads cannot replicate. “It’s a sneak peek into a world you feel like you can enter into for a short while. I feel this is why interesting brands want to create artful videos and collaborate with other creatives to tell their brand stories these days,” she explained.

The creation of the Esska + XOAC installation was documented by filmmaker Lendl Tellington with music produced by Elegant Animals.