Another week, another collaboration. Tommy Hilfiger and the Keith Haring foundation launched a line of shoes at Colette today. They'll be on sale for two weeks at the Parisian concept store, with a broader release set for the autumn of this year. Their lovechild consists of sneakers and Wellington boots covered in Haring’s most famous paintings. There are skinny tennis shoes with the Barking Dog and chunky rain boots with the Dancing Man for men, women, and their trendy children. This is, of course, yet another attempt on Hilfiger's behalf to regain its fashion cred. But what’s the big difference between this and the Mona Lisa underwear available at the Louvre?
Well, for one, the collaborator. Out of any painter suitable for this kind of creation, Haring is probably the best. The artist and social activist was unsentimental about the value of art. He was intensely criticized when opening his Pop Shop in Soho in 1986: There, he sold cheap apparel, pins and shoes, all tattooed with his work. These cheap (ish: wellies and trainers go for about $125) shoes could just be a continuation of Haring’s original project. The allusion to the Pop Shop is certainly there, as Colette has reproduced the painter’s Soho walls: bare, supermarket-like shelves graffitied head-to-toe with the Dancing Man. Once dubbed "Warhol’s factory goes meets the streets," Haring’s factory is back - just on a glitzier street. --ALICE PFEIFFER