Team work: Coach revealed a partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation this season – an exceptional move since the mega brand has increasingly embraced art as inspiration since designer Stuart Vevers took the creative helm. With artist and label both sharing principles of inclusivity instead of exclusivity, the fruit of the union not only includes a variety of Haring’s recognisable icons embroidered and embossed on bags, jackets and t-shirts, but also transforms his frenetic line drawings into textile prints for a more subtle, yet equally memorable effect.
Scene setting: To properly set the scene, Coach created a smoky, glittering abstraction of 1970s New York, in ode to Haring’s experience of the city. Complete with lofty water towers, metal lidded trash cans and even a vintage Cadillac parked under an arched lamp post, the installation was realised by set designer Stefan Beckman. To kick off the show, black and white video footage featuring Keith Haring was projected on the side of one of these buildings – a throwback to how movies were screened in the old days.
Best in show: While Coach’s latest collection demonstrated a clear dexterity that was not limited to leather, accessories and footwear, the most impressive pieces were the ones emblazoned with Haring’s iconic imagery. Incorporated in a variety of ways, including t-shirts printed with a photograph of the artist himself, the sincere homage puts Haring’s oeuvre back in the spotlight over 30 years later, and rightly so.