While the exhibition paying tribute to his work (alongside Egon Schiele’s) at the Louis Vuitton foundation is coming to an end, Jean Michel Basquiat is honoured by Virgil Abloh’s streetwear label. Off-White indeed recently unveiled a new capsule collection, vibrant tribute to Basquiats work.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “In Italian”, 1983, Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut, Etats-Unis ©Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo : ©Robert McKeever

« Jean-Michel Basquiat is an important part of New York underground culture and an American artist who laid the foundations for the existence of Off-White nowadays. This collection celebrates this fact»* explains Virgil Abloh, when asked about this new collection.

Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh

What is this collection? Consisting of basics (two t-shirts, two hoodies, a denim shirt, jeans, chino and iPhone cases) the collection combines the artists distinctive raw and scribbled aesthetics with Virgil Ablohs sleek designs, and offers clothes decorated with inscriptions such as « revenge » or « post-modern ».

Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh

Where is this collection ? The Off-White x Jean-Michel Basquiat collection is available on the Off-White website, in the Parisian Flagship of the brand, as well as in the gift shop of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh

It is interesting to note the artists lasting strong influence on fashion designers, Off-White arriving after the brand Supreme (2013), Olympia Le Tan (2018), or Comme des Garçons (Basquiat was a model on the runway show for the brand in 1987).

Jean Michel Basquiat lors du DéfiléS/S 87 Comme des Garçons

Deux des sacs Olympia Le-Tan x Basquiat àla Fondation Louis Vuitton – Olympia Le-Tan

According to Thierry Erhmann, an art market expert who was asked about the exhibition presented at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Basquiats work draws its strength from its « dialogue with itstime » and its primary function is to « talk about reality. »**

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982. Vendu aux enchèresàNew York, mai 2017 ©Sotheby’s

Words that can be put in parallel with those of Virgil Abloh, while he describehis vision of fashion at the launch of his label: « The best role of fashion is when it conveys the zeitgeist. I wanted to talk to my generation, to understand why a brand like Supreme was much more important to young people than Louis Vuitton, to give street culture a real place.»***

Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh

Tribute to one of New York street culture key artists, the OffWhite x Basquiat capsule collection also manages to dialogue with its time. Simply, efficiently.

* Views – Off White rend hommage à Jean Michel Basquiat avec sa nouvelle collection 

** France Tv info – Trois choses à savoir sur Jean-Michel Basquiat avant de voir l’expo à la fondation Vuitton 

*** L’Express – Off-White, un streetwear conceptuel et sexy

ALEXANDRA HOSTIER
ASSISTANT EDITOR

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