Michail Pirgelis

Mojave Desert, California © Michail Pirgelis

Our debut edition was created in collaboration with the Cologne-based artist Michail Pirgelis. No coincidence. It was his work, after all, that gave us the initial inspiration to bring Speaking Garments to life. 

Pirgelis' work, which is represented by Galerie Sprüth Magers, consists largely of discarded aircraft parts that the artist discovered in aircraft graveyards. Pirgelis transforms these found objects, which show signs of use and are marked by wind and sun, into objects. He leaves them largely unchanged, preserving their original, elusive aura.

One could call this 'found abstraction'. With his art, Pirgelis transfers familiar objects into a new context and in this way challenges the viewer to rethink what an object can be.

How, when and why did the collaboration with Pirgelis come about?

We have been following Michail’s work for several years. In 2016, while preparing for his exhibition at Sprüth Magers in Los Angeles, he sent us some photos he took at airplane graveyards in the desert—that was my key moment.

I was taken by the feeling these images produced in me; the progression from these abandoned airplanes to the artworks they result in. Time-worn and weathered by sun and sand storms, he barely alters the materials, turning them into objects.

What do you most admire about Michail Pirgelis’s work, and why?

I admire his profundity, his patience throughout the process, his deep attention to detail, his handling of the materials, his persistence, and uniqueness.

Michail Pirgelis, Second Chance, 2016
Michail Pirgelis, Second Chance, 2016, Aluminium, Titan,
Lacquer, 200 X 440 X 4 CM, © Michail Pirgelis


The desire to create unique, highly personal pieces that matter...

Michail Pirgelis work was the initial ignition for this project and so it was a great pleasure as Michail agreed to be part of the project. Then we deepened even more in his work, it is a process which requires a lot of time and attention to materials. This is what we also wanted for the brand. The focus on a few products but with the greatest possible attention and passion.

Our entire limited edition sweatshirt and t-shirt collection is created in Cologne—from the line’s conception to our collaboration with Cologne-based designer Chang Zun Chung. All items are handsewn and produced with the highest standards of quality. Each garment is sold with a numbered edition certificate, hand-signed by the artist and printed on a Joker image from Pirgelis’ collection of airline playing cards.

T-shirts are limited to 200 pieces. Each garment is handsewn and depicts a black and white photograph of renowned Spanish-French clown Charlie Rivel and was once a Pan Am publicity photo, the image pictures Rivel disembarking an airplane in comic exuberance, thanking the heavens for his safe landing.


Sweatshirts are limited to 100 pieces. Each garment is entirely handsewn and outfitted with a unique, attachable aluminum airplane fragment. The artist has chosen each element for the edition from a discarded DC-10 aircraft, in the Mojave Desert of California.


Speaking Garments is all about connecting and working with inspiring and motivating people in our intimate circle of friends. Although we could have chosen any fashion model to wear our pieces, it was a natural choice to create images with and by people who have a personal connection with both art and the artists we feature. That's why we're thrilled to present Paolina and Vito as the faces of our campaign.