NEW YORK-Since Angelina Jolie first announced her latest venture, Atelier Jolie, this spring, she’s revealed few details about her new sustainability-focused fashion studio, other than its purpose as a creative incubator and its partnership with luxury house Chloé. Now, for the November issue of Vogue, the Academy Award-winning actress, filmmaker and humanitarian has given an in-depth interview about the project, and revealed its first looks including the swirling strapless-bodice white gown she wears on the digital cover (photographed by Annie Leibovitz), which Jolie is said to have custom spray-painted for the shoot. The dramatic image might evoke Alexander McQueen’s iconic spray-paint runway moment (or, more recently, Coperni’s spray-on dress with Bella Hadid), but it’s also a direct nod to the space that Atelier Jolie inhabits: the former home and studio of the late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, located in the Bowery in New York. There, Jolie is transforming the space into a place for community and collaboration, which will offer tailoring and upcycling services as well as an airy gallery space for artisans, according to Vogue, while the studio’s café will partner with refugee organizations. Atelier Jolie will officially open in November, with collaborations that include London-based milliner Justin Smith, American artist Duke Riley, and South African lacemaker Pierre Fouché.
“I don’t want to be a big fashion designer,” Jolie told Vogue. “I want to build a house for other people to become that.” Jolie’s red-carpet style has always been effortless from low-slung leather pants to va-va-voom gowns with plunging necklines and thigh-high slits, but she’s not an easy guess for a celebrity with big brand aspirations, as A-Listers have launched the nearly perfunctory fashion, beauty or wellness line to varying degrees of success. Joining her in the venture are two of her children, Zahara and Pax, who have been “heavily involved” in the launch, according to Vogue. “I find it slightly funny that we are involved in fashion — I don’t think any one of us is overly ‘fashionable,’ ” Jolie said in the interview. “But because we live in our clothes, it is so much a part of who we are, and something that’s important to explore, especially for young people.”