Kanye West and Justin Bieber have become just as famous for their stylish concert merchandise as they are their music. Their designs can be seen on some of the most influential fashion bloggers and celebrities as well as everyday people wanting to support their favorite artists. Justin Bieber’s collection is even being sold in Barney’s. Since when did concert merchandise fit in right next to Prada, Gucci, and other designer labels at high-end department stores?
I have been quietly observing the rise in this trend for awhile now. When these artists first released their designs, fans were buzzing over them simply to support the amazing albums these artists had just released. Fans bought their merchandise as a thank you for a wonderful album. So when did it become the fashion-forward choice to sport this merchandise?
Every artist represents a certain lifestyle and a specific “coolness” factor. Kanye sings about subjects that are offensive and degrading to women, giving him a bad representation in the world; yet people seem to still love him? Meanwhile, Bieber just seems to be making bad decisions in his daily life, outside of the lyrics he sings. It is clear that Kanye and Bieber represent the “I don’t give a f***” attitude that many millennials aspire to have. Millennials see Kanye and Bieber’s popularity within the world and think, if I act the same way, maybe I can be just as idolized as them. Wearing their apparel is just one way to act just like them without being a complete asshole.
Not only this, but they both are artistic geniuses. So maybe it’s that celebrities and street style bloggers wanted to support other artists in today’s creative-centric society? Pushing the controversy of his lyrics aside, Kanye is a musical genius, and now a well-respected designer. Bieber has also blown the world away with hit after hit from his latest album Purpose. Many creative people are jumping into all different kinds of sectors of the artistic community. Fashion bloggers have started their own clothing lines, fashion designers have started their own blogs, models are collaborating with brands on creating collections… everyone is dabbling into each and every artistic field. It is almost expected that every creative person does it all.
All in all, I love this trend of concert merchandise. Not only are you supporting your favorite artist through a trendy t-shirt or bomber jacket, but you are supporting an entire community of budding entrepreneurs. Of course I wouldn’t call Kanye and Bieber entrepreneurs, but they are just the beginning of a world of creative people creating their own clothing lines and changing the fashion industry. Designer labels are becoming less of the “cool” fashion to sport rather than the new designs that bloggers, models, and musicians are creating for us to wear. And, hey, they are way more affordable!