Yoko Ono has nearly done it all — contemporary art, music, activism. But as she nears her 80th birthday, the widow of Beatle John Lennon is dabbling in something new: the fashion world.
This week in New York, Ono unveiled her first ready-to-wear collection — an edgy unisex line called “Fashions for Men,” based on sketches Ono first started in 1969 and gave to her husband as a wedding present that year.
The capsule collection includes apparel, footwear and accessories. One of the most provocative pieces is the “hand” wool suit, featuring a white handprint over the crotch of a pair of black trousers.
Bare shoulders peek out of paper-thin tight-fitting knit tops in pink or black. Tank tops and shirts are also provocative, with peekaboo holes.
More than 40 years after that wedding, and 32 years after Lennon’s assassination, Ono was able to bring the collection to life thanks to Humberto Leon, the co-founder of uber-chic New York fashion emporium Opening Ceremony.
Leon said the idea first started to gel when the two met in Japan.
Lennon and Ono’s 37-year-old son, Sean Lennon, proudly attended his mother’s big fashion night — decked out in a fetching fedora with a feather.
Ono, wearing a double-stacked black top hat with whimsical puffy white bows and a black jacket revealing ample cleavage, signed copies of the book — which includes some of her sketches — published to mark the collection’s debut.
The Tokyo-born artist — raised in both Japan and the United States in a well-off family of bankers — became a global icon when she married the rocker from Liverpool and really never left the limelight after Lennon’s 1980 slaying.
Ono — who was long accused of sparking the break-up of the Beatles, a claim she vehemently denies — earned plaudits for her performance art and her work as a tireless campaigner for world peace.
Ever since her Montreal honeymoon with Lennon, during which the couple called for peace from their marital bed, Ono has pursued the fight. In 2002, she launched the “LennonOno” grant for peace in Iceland, given every two years.
She has also campaigned against world hunger and fracking.
At the fashion opening, her adoring fans have not lost an ounce of enthusiasm.
The couple “could have just done the music thing and been happy, but they decided to work for social change,” said Marou Rivero of Argentina, whose arms are tattooed with the Japanese flag and the lyrics to the Beatles hit “All You Need Is Love.”
Christopher Heydon, an interior designer with Ralph Lauren who stood in line to get Ono’s autograph, chimed in: “She’s just a legendary individual.