Designer Raf Simons has always found inspiration in art, and his latest collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation is no exception.
One of the designer’s latest creations, a coat featuring a Mapplethorpe photo of an erect penis on the back, made its debut at Simons’ spring 2017 show at the Pitti Uomo menswear event in Florence, Italy last week.
From the front, it seems pretty normal, but things get a little more exotic on the back.
The jacket was just one of many items in the collection featuring the photography of Mapplethorpe, who was known for his portrayal of New York’s gay scene in the ’70s and ’80s.
The fashion show was a reminder of the late artist’s ability to push gay sex out of the dark and into the public eye, forcing people to acknowledge the existence of the LGBT community.
In the wake of the recent massacre in Orlando, it was as timely a message today as it was three or four decades ago when the photos were first taken.