When I first saw the art of Amy Sherald at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea, New York, in 2019, the paintings were much larger than I had imagined seeing photos of them. Her work was bold, young, stylish, eye-catchy and one-of-a-kind. The characters of the portraits by an African American female artist were the everyday African Americans she came across in the bus, at the supermarket or on the streets. Their skin is colored in either black or white, a symbolic decision to remove the barriers of skin color. The people in her portraits have been reinterpreted by the experiences of the artist. All of them display a unique presence wearing bright and vivid colors against a sleek solid color or a background with texture. Sometimes the individuals hold a surreal objet.
The design and color of the LEHHO 2022 F/W collection was greatly inspired by the works of Amy Sherald. Innovative colors, warm texture and creative structures are signatures of the Collection manifested in the buttermilk colored cocoon shaped Daphne wool coat, the Paper jumpsuit with deep pleats in the front in bubble gum pink, the vivid orange slim boots cut Amy pants, the warm texture tops with a twisted detail which was born after many endeavors to create a surreal structural design, the Sherald shirt dress with a folding structure and a hidden open space on the back which is exposed when there is movement by the arms and the Lune pants whose slit reveals a layer within a layer.
The most captivating part of the work of Amy Sherald would be the eyes of the individuals in the portraits. They are looking at the audience, thereby creating a direct connection. They are not being observed or objectified but are naturally establishing relationships with the observer. It may seem like they are conscious of how they are perceived by others but at the same time, seem not to care about how well or how poorly they are dressed. They are not swept by emotions, remain calm and display a liberal attitude. The Collection attempts to project such energy and ambience that these characters radiate onto models and also to express through them.