Concert Merchandise Is Having A Moment In Fashion

Concert Merchandise Is Having A Moment In Fashion

Concert merchandise is the new streetwear is the new luxury

Concert merchandise is the new streetwear is the new luxury

Text: Ian David Monroe

In 2016, you don’t even have to go to a concert to buy an artist’s tour merchandise. This is not a new revelation; musicians have been hawking their apparel, posters, and other endless oddities on their respective websites for years. You can even buy vintage tour merch on ebay or at your local Goodwill. That in recent years these mementos have become detached from the actual moment is not novel, but that today’s memorabilia is deserving of a brick-and-mortar display with no music venue in sight is. No more are the two intrinsically linked, at least not if today’s pop stars have there way.

The last two days, Justin Bieber set up shop at VFILES to sell his Purpose Tour shirts and hoodies, just as Kanye sold his The Life of Pablo wares in a rented out space no more than 5 blocks away, only a month earlier. Both events—spectacles at times—saw hundreds, if not thousands, descend upon SoHo where high-end labels like Saint Laurent, Chanel, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, and more cover the neighborhood.

These small stints are lucrative, too. Kanye reported making $1,000,000 in just a weekend, and judging by the unending line out side VFILES, the same will likely prove true of Justin. Can Alexander Wang down the street say the same? No one is suggesting that Wang couldn’t, but what Bieber and West are doing (whether intentionally or not) is contextualizing merchandise in a way that it never has been by legitimizing fan apparel as fashion, by outselling the luxury competitors on their own turf.

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