During Paris fashion week, legendary producer and DJ Swizz Beatz sent the internet into overdrive when he posted a photograph on Instagram of himself with Karl Lagerfeld, each man with a pair of quilted Chanel headphones slung nonchalantly round his neck. Four months on, AnOther can unveil the finished product — a set of bluetooth wireless audio headphones made in collaboration with Monster, finished in classic Chanel quilting.
The Chanel x Monster headphones were debuted by model Ming Xi at Chanel’s shopping centre-inspired A/W14 show, worn amongst brightly coloured lurex leggings, bouclé tweed jackets and trainers. To mark their release, AnOther asked artist Tom Butler to place the headphones in a very different milieu, working them into his illustrative reappropriation of 19th century cabinet cards. “I find the cards close to where I live in Portland, USA, in antique malls, book stores and flea markets. I don't know who the sitters were and I really don't want to, it's nothing personal — if I find out too much about who the person was, I can't appropriate the photo.”
The matching of artist and product has created works of intrigue and beauty, which marry Victorian formality with an object that is at the pinnacle of consumer desirability. "I love music and a good pair of headphones is a necessity because it's such an effective way to hide in your own world," Butler says. "When I started to look closely, I became interested in the diamond stitching and the textures of the design, the warm, red interior of the case and the little logos printed on the headphones. I also liked that they had the word, 'Monster', printed on them."
Tom Butler is represented by CHARLIE SMITH LONDON.