Since 2014, Carne Bollente's Paris-based eponymous label has always strived to highlight the relationship between sex and society, one free of judgements where people can openly embrace their sexuality and kinks (that would otherwise be widely considered taboos) through their clothes. By combining straightforward basic cotton staples with erotic sex illustrations, Bollente successfully iǌects a certain amount of irreverence and humour into what would otherwise be 'no-frills basics'.
Their most recent capsule collection chooses to partner with SHOWstudio contributor and foundation dedicated to the late gay Finnish artist, Tom of Finland. The collection will draw upon the late creative's various drawings and paintings made throughout his career, integrating them with Bollente's embroideries. Featuring four different black and white illustrations of Tom of Finland - paired with a brand new embroidered logo - The various styles include a T-shirt, tote bag and a crew neck jumper.
Speaking of the collaboration, Bollente said:
'This collaboration not only reflects our desire to introduce this artist to new generations but to highlight the humouristic part of his work, a hidden side which was lesser known to the public eye.'
Tom of Finland consistently defended sex-positivity through his art, fighting for LGBTQI+ rights on and off the illustrative page. The artist and activist not only affirmed his own gay sexual identity but glamourised it; giving confidence to gay men at a time when many had internalised homophobia and sexual guilt. His imagery flipped societal cliches upside down (such as that gays were weak and many other) while simultaneously breaking through the limited patriarchal norms of society. His imagery portrayed gay men as strong and desirable - a refreshing and empowering take in contrast to what was professed by the media at the time.