Local loungewear maker Bedhead Pajamas has followed up its successful LACMA collaboration by partnering with UCLA's Fowler Museum to create pajamas, T-shirts and table napkins printed with barkcloth drawing designs from the Mbuti tribe.
The pieces, which are being sold through the Fowler Museum Store, as well as Bedhead's New York and Los Angeles retail stores, were inspired by artwork in "Second Skins: Painted Barkcloth From New Guinea and Central Africa," which opened at the Fowler April 1 and runs through Aug. 26, with 15% of proceeds going to benefit a medical clinic for the Mbuti of the Ituri rain forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to Bedhead Pajamas' CEO and designer Renee Claire Bertrand, the connection between the pajama brand and the exhibition is more than bark deep.
"A few years ago, my husband and I gave a collection of Mbuti barkcloth drawings to the Peabody Museum at Harvard University," she told us. "When the Fowler curator of African art [Gemma Rodrigues] was beginning her search for drawings for this upcoming exhibition, she saw images of the drawings we had given to the Peabody Museum on their website and contacted us."
Bertrand said that she and her husband subsequently lent the Fowler a drawing from their collection for their show, with Bedhead sponsoring the cost of borrowing five additional drawings from the Peabody.
To bring things full circle, the repeating pattern used in the men's, women's and children's pajamas, T-shirts and table napkins created by Bedhead is based on an Mbuti barkcloth design from one of those drawings.
The men's pajamas retail for $140, the women's for $136, the kids' PJs are $58 and a set of four table napkins is priced at $48.
Bedhead Pajamas, 8336 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Hours and directions to the Fowler Museum Store available online.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos, from top: Bedhead's barkcloth-design collection includes (from left) women's pajamas, T-shirts and men's pajamas, with 15% of proceeds going to a medical clinic for the benefit of the Mbuti. Credit: Bedhead Pajamas.
One of the exhibition's drawings on barkcloth from the Mbuti tribe, Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo (circa 1940s, plant fiber, natural pigment). Credit: Fowler Museum at UCLA.