Benetton India’s exclusive new collectible line of round neck T-shirts explores the theme of ‘social integration’ through works of more than a dozen India artists. The collection under the moniker of #UnitedbyArt was unveiled by producer and designer, Rhea Kapoor, the sister of Sonam Kapoor, at the India Fashion Week by FDCI in Delhi.

She and a bunch of popular fashion bloggers then conducted the first ever Instagram LIVE auction of a polo T-shirt from the collection. Says Kapoor, “I am elated to be a part of this significant creative platform by Benetton in India. Benetton is a brand, which has always been close to my heart. The #UnitedbyArt is a commendable effort to celebrate fashion and art, and I am excited to take home for myself from the first collectible line- already waiting for the next one now.”

The journey to create this line started with a two day art camp in Goa late last year where artists Somenath Maity, Bhaskar Rao Botcha, Biswajit Mondal, Julio D’ Souza, Sachin Jaltare, Pappu Bardhan, Sachindranath Jha, Siddharth Shingade, Sidharth, Aarushi Kumar Patel, Bandana Kumari, Illoosh Judge Ahluwalia, Oinam Dilip, Suchit Sahni were asked to create paintings that capture identity as defined by equality, diversity and optimism in society. As the brand puts it, “this synthesis aims to promote cross generational dialogue about the subject through the medium of art.” The paintings were then reprinted on the one-off T-shirts in the collection.

Art, of course, has been part of Benetton history since its founding in the 1960s. Brand founder Luciano Benetton is famous for having created a massive collection called Imago Mundi featuring commissioned works by established and emerging artists from around the world in a prescribed 10X 12 cm format. At last count, there are more than 25,000 works from 172 regions in the collection. “Art is very close to Benetton, and this special collectible line is our commitment to empower the artists and bring them to the forefront. We are proud to see the paintings coming alive with the first collectible line; every artwork has a creative story to tell keeping the core of Benetton in mind,” says Sundeep Chugh, Managing Director and CEO, Benetton India.

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