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Meet the Teenage Artist Behind Some of Saint Laurent’s Most Coveted Menswear

  • artburo
  • Wednesday January 20th, 2016

There’s enough eye-catching merchandise in Hedi Slimane’s Spring 2016 Saint Laurent men’s collection to leave fans talking for months, but the one piece that has really stood out amid the Kurt Cobain glasses and shredded flannels is a black bomber jacket with an entirely sequined back that swirls from pastel pink to sky blue, with the word baby streaked across it. For this, we have the 18-year-old artist Lucia Santina Ribisi to thank.

The graphic is drawn from a painting by Ribisi—over the phone, she calls it “the Pet Names painting”—and was printed by Saint Laurent onto this jacket, a surfboard, a backpack, a pin, and a slew of other merchandise from Slimane’s Surf Sound collection.

Meet the Teenage Artist Behind Some of Saint Laurent’s Most Coveted Menswear

“It was about six months after I made the Baby painting that I woke up to a text from Hedi Slimane that said, ‘Hi, I’m interested in seeing some of your artwork, if you could please send me some images. Possible collaboration with SL xx Hedi.’ I of course knew who it was, and I was so excited,” Ribisi remembers.

“The whole thing was really magical. They work really quickly, and they work in a very magical, mysterious way. Somebody came to pick up my painting, and they brought it back the next day, very carefully wrapped. Then I received an invitation to the fashion show in Paris.” Ribisi attended with her mother, actress and interior designer Mariah O’Brien. (Her father is actor Giovanni Ribisi.)

“It felt really dreamy to be able to take her on a trip like this that was like my first entry into adulthood. It was my first real job doing what I love, which is making art, and getting the validation for the work I had done.”

Meet the Teenage Artist Behind Some of Saint Laurent’s Most Coveted Menswear

The Saint Laurent collaboration punctuated a period of growth and transformation for Ribisi. Having produced art since a young age, she spent the winter of 2014 dedicated to painting. “During that time I was making a lot more technically challenging paintings or academically influenced paintings, things that showcased more technical skill. One of my friends came over and said, ‘Lucia, you make very beautiful paintings, but I feel like you are worried about failing or something . . . you should challenge yourself and make something totally different.’ So I went to the art store and bought a bunch of colors that I liked.”

On Christmas Day, she made Baby, an 18″ x 24″ acrylic, oil, and modeling paste creation that was meant to be part of a larger series featuring diminutives she had been called over the years. That never came to pass; soon Ribisi decamped for boarding school and began getting into video and performance art.

The painting, however, got a much-welcomed second life courtesy of Saint Laurent.

Twenty-year-old Australian singer Troye Sivan—also something of a baby in the pop cultural landscape—wore the jacket to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“I feel like our generation is really empowered to start working younger,” Ribisi tells

“Many of Saint Laurent’s other collaborators [are also young people] who love what we do, so now the painting means much more than what it originally was meant to.”

Meet the Teenage Artist Behind Some of Saint Laurent’s Most Coveted Menswear

Up next for Ribisi is planning a feminist showcase for later in the year, producing a zine in collaboration with Autre magazine about her parents, and driving a tiny house she built herself to live in around the country.

Between juggling these projects, she also found time to step in front of the lens to appear in two short films, as well as star in Saint Laurent videos promoting the house’s upcoming Los Angeles show.

After rattling off her list of projects and collaborations, she lets out a happy exhale: “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.”