Move over Andy Warhol, there’s a new NYFW ode to American pop art in town and it came complete with a gorgeous, glitter-coated runway. While Calvin Klein may have taken from Warhol’s artistic palette for their show, it was Coach that came away with a delicate homage to Keith Haring, the queer artist whose graffiti-style work transformed New York in the early '80s.
For his Spring '18 Collection, Coach creative director Stuart Vevers teamed with the Keith Haring Foundation to coat garments in archival Haring graphics that maintained the prairie, '30s mood that Coach has become synonymous with. Metallic leather jackets and satin pants hung off models as they walked the catwalk in cowboy boots and shiny shoes.
What could’ve been a heavy-handed, over-the-top use of Haring’s prints became a respectful nod to the late artist. His dancing figures, beasts, hearts and own portrait showed up sparingly on the garments and became a motif of resistance, rather than appropriation. It wasn’t the first time the fashion house has pulled from America—past collections have been inspired by everyone from Mickey Mouse to Elvis Presley—but it was through a gay icon like Haring that Coach found an incredibly accomplished collection. As the show notes explained in a quote from the artist and activist, “Art is for everyone.”