Lacoste and its founder René have long been pioneers of sportswear. For over 85 years, the French brand has looked to fuse classic pieces with modern influences and in an ever growing sphere of streetwear, Lacoste is now looking to a line of collaborations. Joining with the Keith Haring Foundation comes a brand new collection with the 20th century pop icon.

Seemingly from different worlds – a star tennis player from the 1930’s and 50 years later, an artist from the 1980’s – the collaborative effort is far from just a standard branding exercise. Rather, its pays tribute to two pioneers in their own fields, and the carefree and timeless spirit that encompasses both Lacoste and Haring.

His prolific work can be recognised from miles away. Growing to popularity through his subway sketches and street graffiti amongst the streets of New York, Keith Haring’s block and outlines figures were soon icons of prominence of street culture, particularly through the ’80s. Though his talent with a paint brush was exceptional, it was his work surrounding political and societal issues – including AIDS and homosexuality at the time – that concreted his name in the art world. During an era when sexuality was very much still a taboo topic at the dinner table, it served as a strong influence for the young creative and can be recognised in his work, even today. Travelling the world to paint murals across the walls and buildings, his work was accessible and all-inclusive. No matter what you believed in, and where you were situated in the world.

Since the 1930’s, so too did René Lacoste believe in such values. Rooted in French tennis and its Olympic team, over eight decades in the sportswear game and the European brand has become so much more than premium tennis attire. From the very first time René cut the sleeves off a polo top, his vision grew. Appealing to a wide range of men, women and children the extensive line of classic silhouettes has grown and its latest collaboration with the artist’s foundation is proof of the expanding repertoire. Moreover, the French brand brought on it first female creative director in 2018, bringing a sense of high-end fashion to its already established sense of accessibility.

Like any collection of stylised pieces, art has perfectly intertwined with the discipline of fashion. In line with the industry and its new-found fascination with the ’80s, Keith Haring X LACOSTE celebrates the spirit of urban culture with Lacoste-designed pieces serving as the blank canvas for Haring’s all-inclusive artwork.

Elegantly combining the eccentricity of an all-over print with the sobriety of iconic pictograms, colourful figures – such as the “Barking Dog” and “Heart” – as well as black-and-white renditions are spread across a range of kit essentials. Polo shirts, T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, dresses and swimsuits are available with the work also appearing in accessories such as reversible handbag, zip pouch and caps.

Conceived and designed for all those who want to inject a touch of art in their life, this colourful, pop-influenced collection will be available from April 30 at www.lacoste.com.au and in Lacoste stores nationwide.

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