January 6, 2020

No KAWS For Concern: Recapping The Artist’s Best Year Yet

Love him or not, there’s no denying that KAWS is on a roll. The artist has remained so busy both at galleries and commercially that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the wide variety of projects he’s taking on at one given time. The massive interest in KAWS on StockX was part of the reason we launched our Collectibles Vertical back in October, as the artist leads the category in sales. Don’t forget about streetwear either, where his final Uniqlo collection (released in June of 2019) accounts for five of the top six best-selling items ever in our streetwear category.

While some critics may say the artist has reached his peak, KAWS had a tremendous year which included global dominance and massive interest in on StockX. Here’s a recap of all the big releases from his best year yet. 


KAWS Holiday Taipei – Apparel, Bags, Figures, & More

The year started quickly for KAWS, unveiling the biggest Companion to date (36 meters) at the famous Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. The grand opening brought with it a dazzling light show which made for some amazing photos, and a few days later the artist followed with a release that included new figures, plates, apparel, and tote bags. As has become customary with overseas KAWS releases, the products were dropped on the Ding Dong Taikuhaibin web store and sold out quickly. The most popular items from this capsule are the 7 inch figures that include a unique blister packaging, making them perfect for displaying in-box.



KAWS Holiday Hong Kong – Apparel, Bags, Figures, & More
KAWS Along The Way Figures

After one huge inflatable companion in Taipei, the artist brought another massive figure (this time measuring 37 meters) to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour during the month of March. Again, the exhibition came with a collection of product that included tees, bags, plushes, and even a pool float. Also during this month, KAWS released a new vinyl figure titled Along The Way in his classic trio of black, brown, and grey colorways. 



KAWS Pink BFF Plush

April brought perhaps the most frenzied KAWS drop of the year. Bucking the trend of releasing Open Edition figures, the Pink BFF Plush was limited to just 3,000 units, and sold out instantly during a site-crashing drop on KAWSONE. The figure retailed at $200 and has an astounding average sale price of $777 on StockX at the time of this writing, further cementing that the KAWS craze isn’t just limited to his vinyl toys.



KAWS x Uniqlo UT – Tees & Bags

While the Pink BFF Plush caused a frenzy online, the final KAWS x Uniqlo collaboration caused literal riots all over the world. The capsule brought a selection of t-shirts and tote bags and dropped at Uniqlo stores globally. The day of the drop, videos circulated the web of shoppers sprinting in malls and frantically grabbing product off the shelves (one guy even undressed a mannequin to buy the shirt off it’s back). The craziness continued onto the secondary market, as over 25,000 items from this collection have traded on StockX since it’s launch, making it the most popular streetwear capsule we’ve ever seen.



KAWS Holiday Japan – Apparel, Bags, Figures, Plushes, & More

Continuing his tour of Asia, KAWS brought a new Companion pose to Mount Fuji in Japan. The chilling Companion was displayed in the form of a 40 meter inflatable and was the centerpiece of a star-studded overnight camping trip at the base of the famed mountain. Again, the event was followed shortly after with a release of new vinyl figures, tees, tote bags, plates, chopsticks, and much more. 



KAWS NGV – Bags, Accessories, & GONE Figures

After a trio of outdoor exhibitions, KAWS brought his work back into a traditional gallery at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The KAWS NGV collection included a variety of affordable small collectibles including pins, keychains, puzzles, and postcards. For those with deeper pockets, the artist dropped his highly anticipated GONE figure in three colors. The massive 14-inch figure released in three colorways on both the NGV site and KAWSONE, with instant sellouts occurring on both web stores.




With the holiday shopping season in full swing, KAWS partnered with Dover Street Market to commemorate their 15th Anniversary, adding a new t-shirt design to their massive MONOCHROMARKET collection. The set of two tees feature the classic DSM logo with companion-like arms and legs.



KAWS NGV Hardcover Book

Rounding out the year, KAWS and NGV released the final item of their collection – a retrospective hardcover book. The book, titled “Companionship in the Age of Loneliness” marked the first hardcover book from the artist in nearly a year.