Steven Meisel Captures Keith Haring's 1980s New York In Coach Spring 2018 Inner-Artist Campaign

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American heritage label Coach loves New York, unveiling its new Spring/Summer 2018 campaign, shot by Steven Meisel with an intention to "capture the tenderness of New York City." Meisel brings an all-star team to the campaign with creative direction by Fabien Baron, styling by Karl Templer, makeup by Pat McGrath and hair by Guido Palau. 

The campaign features select pieces from the sprawling collection, including its homages to NYC street artist Keith Haring featured on bags, satin bombers and tees. The highlight of the Haring tribute is undoubtedly Coach’s new signature, which sees the timeless Coach pattern juxtaposed with Haring’s artwork “Tea Rose” rivets and matching hardware throughout.

Additionally, the brand’s biggest showpieces of this season are prominent, like the reimagined handbags that were first produced in 1972, with styles ranging from the Camera bag to the Mailbox.

Keith Haring was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Haring’s art blasted into hearts and minds with optimism, loud bursts of color, and bold graphic lines, fast-tracking his art career as a member of the underground art circuit where fashion, art, and music collided and collaborated.

British creative director of Coach, Stuart Vevers, is delving into the mind of Haring for the brand's Spring 2018 campaign by riffing the iconic artist’s squiggles and showing how one can master the art of dressing in painterly prints or abstract accessories that can unleash your inner artist. The collaboration with Artestar, an agency that exclusively represents the late artist worldwide, is generating major excitement and buzz around Coach.

Keith Haring, artist and AIDS activist born May 4, 1958; died of AIDS Feb 16, 1990

Keith Haring, artist and AIDS activist born May 4, 1958; died of AIDS Feb 16, 1990

New for Spring is Signature, an iconic Coach pattern remixed with Haring’s artwork. “With Coach Signature, I liked the idea of customizing it and making it into a canvas for something really personal,” says Vevers. “We’ve taken the familiar and subverted it with a downtown attitude—the unexpected juxtaposition feels very much for today.”’

In launching this Keith Haring collab, we will see if Coach also aligns itself with Haring's social activism in 1980s New York. One the main awareness campaigns Haring participated on was AIDS awareness and activism. As an openly gay man and someone who was suffering from AIDS himself, Haring wanted to break the silence and stigma on AIDS as “gay cancer.” Through Haring’s style and images he was able to reach a larger audience and spread the awareness of AIDS.