On Tuesday, Coach released a collection that celebrates and borrows from renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat with an array of items that range from a $150 T-shirt to a $1,395 tote.
As we know, Basquiat’s yet to be matched “new wave” of the times, is ever-relevant 38 years after his death. The Haitian and Puerto Rican artist captured the political and personal reality of his experience through vivid, childlike art that Basquiat’s niece Jessica Kelly describes as “controlled chaos.”
Naturally, brands like Coach and Off-White want a piece of the pie. Licensing agency Artestar has been around to make that happen.
The Black and Brown roster of this particular collection is fitting. There’s of course Kelly, model Paloma Elsesser, Jill of all trades Jennifer Lopez, musician Jon Batiste, WAP queen Megan thee Stallion and more.
“New York is my city,” J. Lo reminded followers after the collection’s launch. “[Basquiat] captured NYC in a way no one else did.”
Earlier this year, Kelly took the spring 2020 runway with what was the first glance at this collab. “He just loved fashion. He wore it really, really well,” Kelly’s mom and sister to the painter, Lisane Basquiat told Vogue. “I think he’d be thrilled about this.”
Others, though in agreement with the overall sentiment that the 20th-century artist was nothing short of great, aren’t into the use of his work in this manner. “He would have hated this,” one Twitter user wrote in a thread full of opinions.
What do we think?