Lee Celebrates the Socially Conscious Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat With New Collaboration

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Lee released its new collaboration on Tuesday that features the neo-Expressionist work of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Inspired by the art scene of New York City during the early 1980s, the collection combines Basquiat’s creative vision to reproduce several classic silhouettes with a self-expressive twist.

The Lee x Basquiat collection includes denim jeans, suiting pieces, sweaters, T-shirts and jackets.

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Lee x Jean-Michel Basquiat collection.

While all pieces from the collection incorporate Basquiat’s signature mix of bright colors and striking graphics, some of the design details pull from Basquiat’s artistic archives directly. Some of Basquiat’s most popular motifs, including his famous crown signature, are included on the Women’s and Men’s Laser-Printed Denim Jacket, Overall and Carpenter Jean. The Men’s Denim Rider Jacket, a new take on the classic Lee Rider Jacket, is crafted with a print of Basquiat’s “Phooey” painting, a piece about consumption, property and the human condition. The Men’s Long Sleeve Warrior Tee features Basquiat’s self-portrait “Warrior,” which depicted how Basquiat saw himself in the art world. The Women’s Striped Pez Dispenser Cardigan pulls its color scheme and bold stripes from Basquiat’s “Pez Dispenser.”

Additionally, several of the items are inspired by what he wore while creating art and how he styled his clothing. The Men’s Striped Blazer and Pant is crafted using a splattered paint textile, a nod to the paint-splattered pantsuits that became Basquiat’s work uniform.

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Lee x Jean-Michel Basquiat collection.

Brigid Stevens, global vice president of marketing for Lee, said the collaboration represents the brand’s efforts to celebrate the legacy and influence of Basquiat’s original artwork. “Lee has always celebrated originality, and in our 100 years we’ve been part of American culture, especially the ‘80s around NYC. The Lee x Basquiat collaboration fuses art, style and culture together to deliver pieces that are timeless and also unique — original icons made even more so with these iconic pieces of art.”

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Lee x Jean-Michel Basquiat collection.

The Lee x Basquiat collection is available on lee.com and select stores. Prices range from $65 to $220.

Lee has been collaborating with brands on new iterations of its popular apparel items. Last year, the brand joined forces with Medicom Toys to release an apparel and figurine collection that celebrated the Lee mascot, Buddy Lee. The collaboration included three T-shirts and a denim jacket that featured cartoon images of Buddy Lee.

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