Lee Announces Global Collaboration With Legendary Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Feb 06, 2024 Press Release Tags: Collaborations, Lee

Inspired by the Spirit of New York City’s ‘80s Art Scene, the Collection Delivers Timeless Wearable Self-Expression for Men and Women

GREENSBORO, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, Lee® announces the launch of a collection featuring the work of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Available globally, this capsule blends legendary denim and groundbreaking art in unique styles for men and women.

Lee® launches global collaboration with artist Jean-Michel Basquiat that blends legendary denim with groundbreaking art. Photo Credit is: ©Lee 2023 ©Jean-Michel Basquiat

Lee® launches global collaboration with artist Jean-Michel Basquiat that blends legendary denim with groundbreaking art. Photo Credit is: ©Lee 2023 ©Jean-Michel Basquiat

Bursting onto the New York City art scene in the ‘80s, Basquiat’s use of bright colors and striking graphics cemented him as a global cultural icon and left a lasting mark on the contemporary art world. Similarly, Lee has been influencing the world of denim for 100 years, creating styles like the Lee Rider™ jacket, a true original that’s often copied, but never replicated.

Inspired by Basquiat's unique sense of style and personality, the Lee denim silhouettes and coordinates act as the canvas to showcase his neo-expressionist artwork. Splatter-painted jeans, boldly-striped sweaters and crown-adorned denim jackets seamlessly blend with artwork like the “Warrior,” “Pez Dispenser” and more.

Lee has always celebrated originality, and in our 100 years we’ve been part of American culture, especially the ‘80s around NYC,” said Brigid Stevens, global vice-president of marketing, Lee. “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.”

The collection features men’s and women’s jackets and bottoms, tops, tees, sweaters and sweatshirts. Highlights include:

Men's Striped Blazer and Pant – A nod to the often paint-splattered suits that Jean-Michel Basquiat worked in, the ‘80s-inspired coordinates have white pinstripes down the outer lining and are tagged with Basquiat’s famous crown motif. Mixing vintage formalwear and streetwear, it’s an homage to the artist’s most notable look.

Women’s and Men’s Laser-Printed Denim Denim jackets, a wide-leg overall for her and a carpenter jean for him are laser-printed with some of Basquiat’s most popular motifs, including his famous crown.

Men's Denim Rider Jacket – This take on the original Lee Rider™ jacket reverses to showcase a print of Basquiat’s painting, “Phooey,” a piece about consumption, property, and where we as humans find ourselves among it all.

Men’s Long Sleeve Warrior Tee This long sleeve cotton tee features Basquiat’s piece, “Warrior”, a self-portrait that depicted how Basquiat saw himself in the art world.

Women's Striped Pez Dispenser Cardigan This vintage-style sweater pulls its color scheme and bold stripes from Basquiat’s piece, “Pez Dispenser,” with the work featured as a patch on the front.

Women’s Cuffed Printed Carpenter Jean – The exaggerated cuffs feature mural drawings from some of Basquiat’s greatest muses, including sketchbook-style anatomy and his signature crown tag.

Women's and Men’s Printed Sweaters These sweaters are inspired by Basquiat’s works and how they were a visual shorthand for poetry about royalty, poverty, and life.

Lee brought such a fresh perspective to Jean-Michel’s iconic artworks,” said David Stark, the Founder and President of Artestar, an international brand licensing and consulting agency representing the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. “We hope this collection will inspire a new generation of creatives.”

Price range is $65-$220. The collection is available on Lee.com and owned stores in Asia, Europe and North Carolina, US retailers Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters and European sites Zalando and Asos and boutiques like Killiwatch, London, and Craemer & Co. For more information, visit lee.com/Basquiat.


Lee, a Kontoor Brands (NYSE: KTB) brand, has been a pioneer in purposefully designed denim and casual apparel for more than 130 years. As an iconic American brand, Lee’s heritage is filled with fashion firsts marked by innovative fits, era-defining silhouettes, and legendary details in styles for men, women, and boys. Lee ’s youthful energy, unrelenting optimism and fearless confidence have created generations of brand loyalists across the globe. For more information, visit www.Lee.com.


Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the best-known artists of his generation and is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His career in art spanned the late 1970s through the 1980s until his death in 1988, at the age of 27.

Basquiat's works are edgy and raw, and through a bold sense of color and composition, he maintains a fine balance between seemingly contradictory forces such as control and spontaneity, menace and wit, urban imagery, and primitivism.

Partnership done in collaboration with Artestar, a global licensing agency and creative consultancy representing high-profile artists, photographers, designers, and creatives.


Source: Lee