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When Musicians Turn Fashion Designers

By NME Blog

Posted on 03 Apr 12

 
 

Odd Future were in London last week, and they bought their touring ‘pop-up shop’ with them. Alongside traditional tour merch, the shop sold more bizarre items designed by Tyler, the Creator: think pink Hawaiian shirts with cats on and a lot of tie-dye.

It showed an artistic side to controversial rapper Tyler, but he isn’t the first musician to dabble in fashion. From Kings Of Leon to Kanye, here's some other muso fashionistas.

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Models strut Kanye's line down the catwalk


8Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz – Clandestine Clothing


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P. Wentz launched his own clothing line back in 2004, so that he could clothe the army of fans he’d amassed like a benevolent dictator. The brand’s logo is, like, a bat with a heart in it and horns and stuff. Pretty cool, huh?

Verdict Miss. Just like those Fall Out Boy CDs hidden shamefully in your room and the Myspace page filled with arm’s length pictures of your side-fringe, Clandestine Clothing is another terrible reminder of your embarrassing emo phase.

7 Liam Gallagher – Pretty Green


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Liam might not seem like a dedicated follower of fashion, but in 2009 he launched his own label, Pretty Green. It even has a fancy-pants ‘Black Label’ that specialises in “classic British tailoring.” Not what you’d expect from a man who was banned from The Groucho Club for squirting Gazza with a fire extinguisher.

Verdict Hit. Pretty Green is essentially just Ben Sherman mashed together with Ted Baker. You know the old saying: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; just copy it and sell it for a higher price.

6N*E*R*D’s Pharrell – Billionaire Boys Club


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Between jamming with Snoop Dogg and remixing the Rolling Stones Pharrell found time to team up with Nigo, founder of luxury Japanese brand A Bathing Ape, for this foray into the world of fashion.

Verdict Hit. Just like Pharrell’s songs, BBC’s products are slick and hip. It’s essentially just A Bathing Ape with a different logo but hey, didn’t we just learn that plagiarism is cool? The only sore point is the pricing, with a t-shirt setting you back £50. What else would you expect from a brand called Billionaire Boys Club?

5Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes – Drop Dead Clothing


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BMTH front man Oli Sykes has a sideline to angry shouting. His brand ‘Drop Dead Clothing’ specialises in graffiti style cartoon graphics of cats and foxes. Awww cute! Although some do have their brains hanging out…

Verdict Miss. The designs are a zombie version of Hello Kitty, which is not a look you should strive for unless you want to be cast in niche Japanese porn.

4Kanye West – DW, Yeezi, Yeezy


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It’s not surprising that fashion-fanatic West has tried his hand as a designer, nor is it surprising that he’s launching a shoe collection with Nike, called Yeezy. What is surprising is that his first solo collections last year, Yeezi and DW, were both high-end women’s wear, premiered in Paris no less.

Verdict Miss. Yo Kanye, I’m really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Chanel/Dior/Prada/D&G have some of the best designers of all time.

3Kings of Leon – Surface to Air


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Surly rockers Kings of Leon created a collection for label Surface to Air so that all their fans could dress like surly rockers too. It’s hard to tell how much actual designing they did, but whoever was behind the collection basically just took a picture of the band and reproduced all the clothes they were already wearing.

Verdict Miss. The stuff is just Topman or River Island deadstock but with the prices multiplied by 10. A £189 spoon necklace also suggests their target audience are cocaine-guzzling millionaires with more money than sense.

2Wu Tang Clan – Wu Wear


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It might be standard practice for rappers to have their own clothing lines these days, but back in 1995, when the Clan started Wu Wear, it was a revolutionary concept. Unlike the other musical fashion enterprises, Wu Wear is essentially an overblown merch store, but of epic proportions. You can finally get that green velour Wu Tang track jacket you’ve been dreaming about.

Verdict Hit. Wu Wear was game-changing, just like the group. Some of their stuff is pretty ridiculous and the website looks as if it was designed by people who’d only heard stories of the internet, but without them we wouldn’t have half of this list.

1Odd Future


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The latest to follow in the Clan’s footsteps are of course Odd Future, but is their stuff any good?

Verdict Miss. Even Tyler admits that his designs are pretty bad, describing his pink cat shirt as “ugly as fuck.” OF are pretty much cashing in on their insane fan base by rinsing them dry. £80 for a hoodie with a cheap print of their friend’s face on it? Bargain!



 
 
 
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