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Brought together by similarly traumatic experiences, New Yorkers Zach Dillon and PJPII join forces for an uplifting new capsule.

The world works in weird, wonderful (and sometimes absolutely wack) ways. Coincidences, whether you believe they’re by fate or by fortune, can bring people together with sublime force and lead to a newfound creative energy. It’s the case for designer Zach Dillon and artist PJPIII, who, when life gave them far worse than lemons, made something far more eternal than the ephemeral fizz of lemonade.

Last year, both men experienced severe, unexpected trauma. Zach was involved in a freak accident in November 2020 that saw him have to stay in hospital for three weeks; PJPIII, meanwhile, was fighting for his life with COVID-19. The fallout is fraught; Zach suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia, while PJPII is still experiencing the aftereffects of brain swelling caused by the virus.

Something immensely positive, though, has emerged from the trauma. Meeting via Instagram after Zach was discharged from hospital, the two began to collaborate, a synergistic partnership borne from simultaneous pain. While Zach was already an established designer in New York known for his luxe essentials, PJPIII wasn’t even an artist before his own incident. Still overcoming COVID-19, he began to paint; the rest is (art) history, seeing him become one of the buzziest artists on the scene.

Together, they’ve produced ‘Dear Old You’, a miniature capsule of all-black essentials emblazoned with uplifting messages. One tee sees ‘Lover’ printed on it in an ice-cool blue, while another features the original first DM PJPIII sent to Zach: “THE REAL TEST IS NOT THE SETBACK, BUT HOW YOU RESPOND TO IT”, along with an abstract, hand-drawn face. They’re ready to be layered with terry cotton hoodies – one calling for us to “Spread Love” and the second willing you to “Find Your Own Paradise” – and paired with the “Slow Mornings” Trucker Cap, a phrase that the weary-eyed among us can all get behind.

Designed and manufactured in New York City, only twenty-five of each style has been produced, cementing their status as works of art rather than pieces of fashion. The capsule is proof that something positive can emerge from even the bleakest of situations, and an opportunity to wear a whole lot of heart on your sleeve.

To check out the collection click here.

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