Since meeting Denimu A.K.A Ian Berry in Amsterdam two weeks ago, his back on my radar. Commissioned by Ray Ban to create a Denimu portrait of rock icon Debbie Harry exclusively for Ray-Ban District 1937 collection. Inspired by the new Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, which are created entirely of denim for the first time ever (more on this later), the portrait is also made entirely from denim and features the legendary Blondie front woman in her very own pair of denim shades.
After a handful of Twitter messages to Ian I was able to ask him how he felt about the portrait, meeting Debbie Harry and the denim Ray-Ban’s. This is what he said….
“Having the opportunity to do a portrait of Debbie Harry was quite surreal and did make me think of many things that had got me where I am right now. Ironically, to start, the first piece I ever did when I first started working with denim seven or eight years ago, was Debbie Harry. I did 6 in a weekend, all kinda denim icons… Dean, Monroe, Brando. It was just for fun, just to see what it would look like.
There’s not many people in the world left I don’t think are of the caliber of Debbie Harry. A superstar that has transcended many generations, an icon, almost a myth. A legend. So, while I had thought what I may say when I was to meet her, the first meeting happened unexpectedly so I was not prepared and while not the first ‘famous’ person I met, it was very surreal and was left a bit of a nervous wreck seeing her and Chris Stein in front of me. I did later have a really good conversation with her, and some of the rest of the band including Tommy Kessler that invited me to their Stockholm gig and gave me his denim jacket. It was great to hear they liked the piece, and for some of them to say they didn’t even realise it was denim first.”
What do you think of the denim Ray-Ban?
“The Denim Ray Bans are really cool. A bit like my work, you can say they are only denim given the way they are made (bar the shades!) You would expect them to be wrapped in denim, but what they are are layers of denim, so I like the link to me and my work. They look awesome on, even on me as not many shades look good on. I’m glad to have one of the first pairs, they are not out until August, however, I think I want to preserve them.”
If you’re a Debbie Harry fan you’re going to want this hanging on your wall for sure. I just can’t get over the amazing detail!
PORTRAIT OF DEBBIE HARRY BY DENIMU A.K.A IAN BERRY
Photographs: Emil Langvad
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