Kazakh sisters seek to instil love of art with Instagram-based business

NUR-SULTAN – Two sisters, Arna Jan and Dana Sarsenbayeva, launched in August the Instagram-based brand Uncool.Store, which promotes art appreciation and freedom from societal boundaries.

Caps from the Absolute Art collection with The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Photo credit: Uncool store Instagram page.

“We labelled our brand as uncool because people are often ignorant of art or simply negatively react to it. It might be a question of religious tolerance or intolerance, for that matter, but some people start criticising us for promoting Christianity, saying they can’t wear our caps since Jesus is depicted on them. You see, many of our caps have prints of famous paintings with Jesus Christ, such as Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper. Wearing a piece of art, however, is not a religious promotion; it is the promotion of aestheticism and we want our people to understand that,” said Jan.

She has always had an entrepreneurial mindset – she was the first to sell flowers in hat boxes, which is now a common practice in the city, and had a business selling watches. That outlook, combined with a profound appreciation for art, gave birth to the idea of starting a business where it can be promoted.

Uncool.Store currently sells made-to-order caps in different colours with prints of famous artwork by Salvador Dali, DaVinci, Henri Matisse, Michelangelo and Edvard Munch. Soon, the sisters plan to sell kimono-like coats and turtlenecks. The collection will be named MusicArt with the theme of internationally acclaimed Kazakh musicians, such as NAZIMA and Scriptonite.

“I want people in Kazakhstan, and around the world, to start thinking art is cool. We provide free worldwide delivery, 24/7. The price for one cap is $25; that is because we use high-quality technologies to make our printed images lasting. We care for the quality of the images; we want them to be as detailed as in real life,” said Jan.

She travelled to Italy to photograph of some of the masterpieces, including the Last Supper, to use for the prints. She then used Photoshop to edit the pictures and complete the design for the caps.

“A cap is a free-size and unisex item. Everything we make and will make is going to be universal; we want to promote the idea of things being sex-free. The kimono we want to make will also be a free size. If objects have no boundaries, maybe people will start thinking that people shouldn’t be labelled either,” said Jan.

Both sisters draw and paint. Sarsenbayeva’s creations are abstract. She decorated Na Kryshe, a restaurant in the capital with large paintings on the walls. Jan prefers academic drawing and digital art. In December, they plan to host a gallery of their artwork together with a branded fashion show.

Updates about future events and their products can be seen and ordered at their official Instagram account @uncool.store.