Photo by Lexie Moreland/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Keith Haring’s Gritty Street Murals are the Subject of this New Collab

Keith Haring x Lacoste combines street art with preppy polos

“Keith Haring was all about New York in the ‘80s, and New York in the ‘80s was all about four things: it was dirty, dangerous, full of drugs and everyone loved dancing,” says Beverly Schreiber Jacoby, art expert and founder of BSJ Fine Art Consulting Firm, while leading a tour of Haring’s artwork in downtown Manhattan. Though most of his outdoor murals have been painted over – most of them were, after all, illegal – a smattering of painted bronze sculptures and indoor paintings remain.

Haring’s playful graffiti ciphers are instantly recognizable symbols of 1980s street culture; as such, they’ve been the subject of numerous collaborations. Everyone from Uniqlo to Alice and Olivia has used Haring’s dynamic figures to adorn their wares. Lacoste is the latest brand to emblazon Haring’s graffiti artwork onto their wares. The Lacoste x Keith Haring capsule collection features the artist’s figures on the collars of crisp polo shirts, sweatshirts and baseball hats. According to Lacoste, the collection is about paying tribute to Haring’s “free, creative and timeless spirit.”

So why is Keith Haring so popular on the fashion front? Jacoby suggests it’s because, similar to Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, Haring’s pictographs represent their own universal language. The radiant baby and the barking dog are extraordinarily relatable figures, which transmit some sort of truth about the human condition.

Though he studied semiotics in school, Haring chose graffiti as his medium because he wanted his art to be accessible to everyone. Now, on clothing priced from $70, it is.