Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rock band, fashion brand

I've just discovered a an article from Melbourne's The Age on the tragic fashion trend that is the designer band shirt. The story is called Rock Band, Fashion Brand and predictably explains the horrible downfall of the iconic merchandise tshirt into supposed hot clothing item. The Ramones have now apparently sold more T-shirts than records.

An interesting excerpt:

Not so long ago, band T-shirts were only available at specialist music stores and exclusively worn by die-hard fans. Invariably, they came in black and a men’s size XL. Now, the band T-shirt has been reworked into tight little tees and tank tops that come in all colours: pink, yellow, white. Chartreuse.

Arturo Vega has been the Ramones’ creative director since the band formed, and he's now in charge of their licensing. Says Vega: "it’s unfortunate that the people buying the shirt don’t know the band. It’s sad for the Ramones.” Wouldn't want to tarnish their legacy of course - among items he’s licensed are pillowcases, shot glasses and shoes, which the band surely enthusiastically endorsed when they were together (and, mostly, alive.)

It's a sad situation all round when those who want what can only be described as a quick buck are willing to market a slice of portable, no-strings-attached nostalgia to people who don't know any better.

- Ryan


At 7:20 PM, Blogger El said...

As a music lover and fashion victim I do have regret that there aren't more attractive Queen tshirts out there. But maybe it's a good thing, liking Queen hasn't got the same status as liking the Ramones. Still, I know that I could design something that could reflect their somewhat occasionally amazing cover art. Sigh.

I remember in one of my tutes someone was wearing a Joy Division tshirt. It was the famous Peter Saville artwork from Unknown Pleasures. Google the image if you don't know it. Even though he was almost "endorsing" the band, he admitted to me that he had no idea who Joy Division were. He actually expressed frustration that so many people were coming up to him asking him about it!

It's pretty shallow. But music and pop culture have such firm ties with fashion and identity. It was only a matter of time it was going come down to a tshirt.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger amanda said...

I know someone who has a T shirt of the Unknown Pleasures artwork, but it's actually a parody of the artwork - if you look closely it has gorilla's popping out.


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