Stuart Vevers has a real knack for tapping into the kinship between fashion and art in a way that feels authentic and admirative, not contrived. This season, succeeding earlier co-signs with Keith Haring, Gary Baseman, Richard Bernstein and Kaffe Fassett, Vevers has chosen to dedicate Coach’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection to downtown legend and neo-expressionist visionary Jean-Michel Basquiat, familiarising the iconoclast’s oeuvre and ethos with a new generation of audiences.
Working closely with the late artist’s family and estate, Vevers takes inspiration from Basquiat’s abstract, graffiti-inflected aesthetic to imagine an array of boldly graphic ready-to-wear pieces and accessories for both genders. Raw, punchy motifs drawn from paintings such as Pez Dispenser, Mecca, Banana aka Brown Spots, AO AO and Jack Johnson, together with Basquiat’s signature free-associative texts, are scribbled all over the City Block, Rogue, Alie, Beat and Wells bags, as well as t-shirts, hoodies, varsity jackets and a classic trench coat (already seen on Kate Moss).
“Jean-Michel Basquiat is a genuine hero of mine. He challenged the status quo of what an artist was,” Vevers writes in a caption on Instagram. “Coach is always about New York, and it felt so right to bring Basquiat’s work into the collection — from inspiration to collaboration. I wanted the pieces to be a respectful celebration of his life… and something he would like, even wear.”
Bringing the Coach x Jean-Michel Basquiat line into sharp focus, a new visual series lensed by photographer Micaiah Carter expands on the concept of family that underpins the main Fall/Winter 2020 campaign — whether that’s the family we are born into or the one we create for ourselves. This season’s faces include Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Paloma Elsesser, Jon Batiste, Kyemah McEntyre, Yang Zi, Jessica Kelly (JMB’s niece) and more, who emanate sheer joy in front of the camera and muse over the topics of family, art and legacy in several social-first short films.
Keep scrolling to check out the campaign stills and shorts.