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Jean-Michel Basquiat

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A few weeks ago, I found myself standing in a local magazine shop on 23rd street flipping through GQ’s special “Style Guy” issue.  I had wandered into the store in search of some publication from Mexico, but I soon lost sight of that upon spotting the all Glenn O’Brien issue of GQ, because let’s face it, if you can’t enjoy O’Brien’s writing, you should probably get your head checked.  Thumbing through the pages I soon stopped on a full page shot of O’Brien’s decades old Schott Perfecto.  While there’s something appealing about any worn in and worn out leather jacket, O’Brien’s left an instant impression on me for it’s one all-important addition.  Right there in the very center of his jacket was a crown, a signature that was not his own, but belonged to Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Considering how concerned everyone is these days with finding deadstock items, and keeping their clothes pristine (a belief that I am admittedly quite guilty of), the idea of defacing a piece of clothing, and thereby turning it into a piece of art was obviously intriguing to me.  As I’ve headed down the rabbit hole of seventies and eighties New York, reading stories of O’Brien, Basquiat, and the city in general, I’ve come to understand that crown as an echo of a bygone era.

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