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American artist Keith Haring learned how to draw from his father at a very young age. However, it wasn’t until his move to New York City in the late ’70s, at age 20, that he recognized the democratizing power of art.
“I remember most clearly an afternoon of drawing in a studio that had large doors that opened onto 22nd Street. All kinds of people would stop and look at the huge drawing and many were eager to comment on their feelings towards it. This was the first time I realized how many people could enjoy art if they were given the chance,” the artist wrote in his 1984 book Art in Transit, which explores the artist’s hieroglyphic chalk drawings created on blank advertising spaces on the New York City subway.
Études took that democratic approach further by displaying Haring’s artworks on items of clothing for its FW19 collection.
“We’ve always been a big fan of his work,” said designer Aurélien Arbet after the show. “Traveling to New York has always been an inspiration to us, so there’s always been that connection between Paris and New York for Études.”
Haring’s key motifs were featured as embroidered patches, screen-printed knitwear, and all-over prints in black, white, and bright red.
The artist's snake character was abstracted as a chain print designed by Swiss-based studio Maximage and took the form of jacquard denim and sculptural chain-link steel jewelry.
Also worth a shout-out was the sleek womenswear, which featured saturated close-up botanical imagery of American national parks photographed by Colin Snapp. The works were stamped across shirts, dresses, and overalls.
There were collaborations, too. This time with Parisian footwear label Adieu, with whom Études created crepe-soles and creeper boots with grosgrain ribbon trims, each branded with discreet silver foil. adidas also provided a custom version of its SC Premiere model. Unfortunately, these won’t be for sale, but shoppers will still be able to feast themselves on the rest of this highly wearable collection.
Now, here's what industry insiders thought of Heron Preston's FW19 collection.