On Wednesday, August 10, 2005, friends Kyle Boyd, Joe Sadler, Michael Irving and Chris Tierney of COEXIST hosted a launch party at the W Chicago -Lakeshore hotel to introduce their new collection as well as “Artists of Coexistence,” who are a group of aspiring artists that promote the COEXIST lifestyle while benefiting charitable organizations. Guests were able to walk around the room viewing the new collection and reading the meanings behind each well thought out piece.
When the four designers, who met at Indiana University Bloomington, launched COEXIST in May of this year, they couldn’t have even imagined how fast it would become successful. With the well thought idea of combining the three monotheistic symbols as part of the COEXIST logo to portray a world where all types of people around the world could live together in harmony, as well as creating high quality merchandise, they have filled a huge void in the fashion industry. U2’s Bono has become the spokesperson for COEXIST and some of the hottest stores around the United States, Canada and Japan represent the line.
“What we’re sharing in the end isn’t a shirt, it’s a desire to communicate in a way we can all understand, in a way we can,” says COEXIST.
Read on to learn more about COEXIST and the four intelligent designers who strive to live in a world where all cultures can enjoy living together.
FACTIO MAGAZINE: What inspired the creation of COEXIST? COEXIST: COEXIST was founded behind the concept of the COEXIST design logo. Combining the three monotheistic symbols to spell “coexist” suggests a lifestyle of creative conscious. The logical solution was to use fashion as a catalyst to broadcast this lifestyle at an international level. Quality construction and innovative detailing provide the platform for expression.
FM: What did you study at Indiana University? How has your major contributed to the well thought ideas behind each Coexist piece? COEXIST: Joe combined artistic inclinations of fashion, music, multimedia, and interior design into a degree of “Lifestyle Design.” This synergetic approach to design provided a broad range of new output that defied traditional function and helped to nurture the basic elements of the COEXIST lifestyle.
Chris studied furniture and product design with a focus on organic modernism. He organized a summer independent internship street vending COEXIST logo tees throughout Manhattan as a part of his business management degree. Data collected later fueled COEXIST’s marketing strategy.
Mike’s Public Affairs and Management degree landed him a job as a PR manager for Donna Karen after graduation.
FM: How do you feel that Coexist will help to unite different types of people around the world? COEXIST: We aim for COEXIST to expose the simple joys in life, that when embraced, shadow the distractions of discrimination.
FM: What celebrity (past or present) do you feel has made the greatest impact towards the fight of discrimination? COEXIST: Bono is the Mother Teresa of Rock & Roll.
FM: Do you think money and style go hand and hand or can style never be bought? Is it something you just have? COEXIST: Style is simply a reflection of personal choice . . . you can’t put a price tag on that.
FM: What is your biggest fashion vice? COEXIST: Golf fashion. For a game that used to be played with so much style and grace, it’s a shame pleated Dockers and oversized shirts outfit the majority of the industry.
FM: What are your favorite shops worldwide? COEXIST: The Library (London)
FM: What would people be most surprised to know about you? COEXIST: Joe and Kyle played varsity baseball for Indiana University. Kyle led the 1998 Hoosiers to a Big TenConference Championship, while Joe set the Indiana High School homerun record his senior season. Mike also played a varsity sport at Indiana University. After high school in New York, he received a scholarship to play football at IU.
FM: Where do you see Coexist in five years? COEXIST: 5 years from now we’d like to see COEXIST as an internationally recognized lifestyle of optimism and social consciousness.
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