“Obsessorize” Public Art on Madison Avenue is the Art & Fashion Fusion You Need!

In Marketing, What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine


Bubble tea and Chinese takeout never looked so fashionable! Photo: Accessories Magazine

A backpack made from an old radio; A crossbody made from circuit boards; Shoes lined with WWII love letters and adorned with vintage stamps; Charm bracelets crafted from Mr. Potato Head pieces; Accessories made from hardened glue and pearls; Platform shoes made from Bubble Tea…


Radio Backpack by SVA student artist Ivo Liz. Photo Credit- Andrew Werner

These are just a few of the inspired 79 public art sculptures featured in Obsessorize: Common Objects, Uncommon Accessories, a public arts project created by School of Visual Arts, Madison Avenue Business Improvement District and Marie Claire Magazine. The works are encased in 19 8-foot high plexiglas cases along Madison Avenue giving new meaning to the concept of street art.


At the Obsessorize unveiling last week: Nancy Berger, VP,Publisher and CRO of Marie Claire, Kevin O’Callaghan, SVA 3D Design Chairman, set designer and inducted into Art Director Hall of Fame.

Kevin O’Callaghan, SVA 3-D Design Chairman, set designer extraordinaire, and self-described “Creative Hoarder” with a 12,000 square foot warehouse, gave each student their item to interpret. And for a man with unlimited creativity, even he was impressed with what they came up with.


Shoes made from watch dials and hour glasses. Photo: Andrew Werner


Pearl shoes and bag made out of hardened glue. Photo: Andrew Werner

“SVA doesn’t have a fashion design department, so these students weren’t constricted by any fashion rules,” noted O’Callaghan at a breakfast talk Tuesday morning with Accessories Council president Karen Giberson and Marie Claire Accessories Director Julia Gall. “While pieces were inspired by various designers and their Madison Avenue stores, the students did not work directly with the designers. We wanted to keep the results pure. What they came up with was just amazing. Although it was amusing when I gave some of them old objects, like a transister radio, and they had no idea what it was!”

The week-long event coincides with accessory trends and style at 40 participating stores along Madison Avenue: Agnes B, Alexis Bittar, alice + olivia, Aquatalia, Barbour, Barton Perreira, Christofle, David Webb, David Yurman, De Beers, Devi Kroell, Dolce & Gabbana, Dyptyque, Emilio Pucci, Etro, Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle, Frette, Guiseppe Zanotti, Goutal, Hueb, Ippolita, Isabel Marant, J. Crew Collection, J.J. Marco, Jaded, Lanvin, Longchamp, Lukure, Max Mara, Michael’s Luxury Consignment, Morgenthal Frederics, Paul Morelli, Roger Vivier, Schutz, Sonia Rykiel, Stuart Weitzman, Vilebrequin and Zadig & Voltaire.


You can find the Obsessorize vitrines on Madison Avenue from 57th street through 85th street. Take a stroll for a mile-plus, self-guided walking tour. Each vitrine features a few items that relate to a particular decade, with the vitrine articulated by decade-appropriate wallpaper.


For the 1920s vitrine, a chandelier is transformed into a glittery wrap. Felita Mota, SVA student. Photo: Andrew Werner.


SVA Student Artist, Matthew Iacovelli . Photo Credit: Andrew Werner

On Saturday, October 13 at 2 pm, Obsessorize invites the public to join O’Callaghan for a curated tour of “Obsessorize: Common Objects, Uncommon Accessories”.


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