H&M x Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Tribute

H&M Basquiat Collection. Source: H&M

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s estate is collaborating with H&M on a new collection, reflecting a trend in fashion of integrating 20th-century painters’ works into everyday apparel. Inspired by jazz, the collection honors Basquiat’s legacy by addressing his themes and motifs, sparking discussions in contemporary society.

H&M has a history of collaborations with designers since 2004, but their latest venture is more complex than previous ones. It involves a partnership between the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Who Decides War, nested within each other.

H&M initiated talks with representatives from Basquiat’s estate, who had recently collaborated with Ev Bravado and Téla D’Amore of Who Decides War on an exhibition named “King Pleasure.” The project expanded further when H&M suggested involving the 2023 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists.

The designers aimed to honor Black artists’ experiences, celebrating them through techniques like enshrining their figures in stained glass window motifs. Their Basquiat-inspired pieces highlight influential artists, encouraging customers to explore their stories. Unlike other collaborations, which often repeat the same themes, theirs focuses on showcasing Basquiat’s influences and their ongoing impact on Black art and culture.

In Paris on June 19, H&M and the designers hosted a celebration for their collaboration showcasing the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The event gathered friends, family, celebrities, artists, and industry insiders, totaling about 80 guests. Attendees such as Tina Kunakey, Alton Mason, Amelia Gray, Colman Domingo, Evan Mock, and Justin Jefferson wore pieces from the collection, which honors Basquiat’s influence on young Black creatives.

The H&M x Basquiat collection serves as a significant intersection between high art and everyday life, aiming to render Basquiat’s art more accessible to a broader audience. It features iconic motifs from the artist’s repertoire, such as his distinctive crowns and dinosaurs. By showcasing these elements, the collection not only educates consumers about Basquiat’s contribution to the art world but also pays homage to his enduring legacy.


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