Its time to take merch seriously. 

Not that long ago, concert merch wasn’t all that fun…and basically you’d leave the concert with a t-shirt that you’d add to your collection of sleep t-shirts. Maybe you’d buy a hoodie that had the artist’s face on the front, with tour dates on the back. You’d wear it for like a week, after which it would find its home in the back of your wardrobe until it had gained enough “vintage value” to be re-worn, some 5/10 years down the line. This used to be what concert merch was like. But now, it’s stepped it’s game up and I’m so here for it.
Mark Braster Young Thug merch
If you didn’t know I have an Economics degree (hard to believe, I know) anyway, so I have some level of wanting to analyse things (aside from my feelings), so I’ve broken down the formula that’s contributed to merch being a legit thing now, and not just something you wear once you run out of all your clean tops. Serious merch = clever collabs + sick designers + high end retailers. Let’s dive in shall we?

It’s time to take merch seriously, so listen up

Super smart collabs

gucci ghost gucci ghost

I have somehow managed to sign up for 2Chainz shop so obvs I get all their emails. I was glad I’d ended up on that list when I got an email saying that 2Chainz’s “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” album had some collab merch with Trouble Andrew. Ok, if you don’t know who Trouble Andrew is, you’ll definitely recognise his work – he’s the guy behind the Gucci Ghost collection…at Gucci. You know, the hand-drawn interlocking Gs and tiny ghost and stars? Anyway, this guy is cool af, and you have to admit jumping from a collab with Gucci to 2Chainz isn’t quite…conventional shall we say? Anyway, this merch is straight fire – you know me, I had the long sleeve in my basket as soon as I saw it.
This is the thing, it’s actually a really big deal – 2Chainz’s album merch had one degree of separation from Gucci – this is how serious this game is. Also I have to mention the fact that 2Chainz opened a pop up salon for the album drop too smh…pure marketing genius.
Gucci Ghost x 2Chainz Gucci Ghost x 2Chainz

Sick designers

Times have changed, as I mentioned, the game has levelled up from merch that looks like merch, to merch that looks like…hella cool real clothes. That comes down to those designing the merch, which brings me onto Mark Braster. I’ve never met Mark, but I’ve worn his designs a lot and I’ve fangirled over everything he’s created on Instagram.
Mark Braster Young Thug merch

Wearing one of Mark’s Young Thug merch designs

Mark Braster Young Thug merch

He designed the Young Thug merch that I’ve spent a significant portion of my life wearing and when I found him on Insta I spent a stalker-ish amount of time scrolling through his designs. He’s designed for 21 Savage, DJ Khaled’s We The Best music, he even designed the new Young Money merch (and you know I totally I wet my Young Money Stan self when I saw that). Anyway, I hit Mark up and got him to elaborate a bit on his design process:
“Over the past two years I’ve done tour/website merchandise for many industry artists. I started designing around late 2012. When creating merch for the artists, I really try to channel their personality. The art has to match the person it’s for. So pretty much I only design at night in the dark when it’s a major project. I turn up my music and I just vibe out.” 

@21savage 🔪 | cc: @keiopensdoors Designed by Brast Studios™

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Just when shit look outta reach I reach back like 13, like one three cc: @zoedupree

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@DMX • Merch Coming Soon 🏆

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Iconic | Tee by BRAST

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Issa Savage • @21savage

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High-End retailers

The extent to which merch wasn’t even really put in the category of ‘fashionable’ was shown by the fact they’d only really be available at the concert (when you’re so hyped to be in the presence of the artist, a t-shirt with the name of the tour on it seems like a good idea) and online (for the die hards). Are you Ready? Selfridges stocks both Beiber and The Weeknd’s tour merch. VFILES stocked Migos album merch for ‘Culture’. Let me stress to you again, how big a deal this is – tour merch being housed under a roof with the likes of Louis V, Chanel, the biggest names in fashion. VFILES is known for discovering hot new designers…and they’re selling tour merch.

So, the moral of the story is: take merch seriously. Take a second to think about your merch choice when you’re next at that stand at the concert and don’t just buy a hoodie you’ll wear once the following week, or a t-shirt that can fit four of you comfortably…unless that’s your style.

Oh, and I have a mink lash line…
Hit me up on Twitter (@cassie2102), Instagram (@cassie2102), Snapchat (@cassie2102)

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