Jean Michel-Basquiat may have passed more than 30 years ago but the legendary American artist’s outsized influence continues to resonate at the intersections of art and pop culture. The latest to be drawn into the artist’s orbit is Coach, which has just launched the Coach x Jean Michel-Basquiat collection, which was shown earlier this year in February as part of the brand’s Fall/Winter 2020 show.
Art history 101: Basquiat was best known for his highly expressionistic abstract drawings that freely mixed motifs from various cultures (he’s of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent), and effortlessly blended pop culture tropes with “high art” references. A recurring motif in his works is the crown, which some read as a desire to elevate the marginalised, such as the black community.
Referencing the artist’s legacy of activism through art, the campaign for this collection was created in collaboration with the fast-rising photographer Micaiah Carter as well as a global collective of creatives, starring current faces of Coach just as Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Jeremy Lin and Yang Zi, as well as beauty entrepreneur and Basquiat’s niece, Jessica Kelly (who FYI, also walked in Coach’s F/W’20 show).
“Basquiat is one of my heroes. He embodied the creative, inclusive spirit of New York and was a force for change in his community. I am proud to celebrate his work and values and help bring them to a new generation,” says Stuart Vevers, Coach’s creative director. “I’m also incredibly grateful for the support and trust given to me by Basquiat’s family, and would like to thank them for their help in creating this collection and campaign.”
Above, our picks of the collection.