8 Musicians Killing the Merch Game
    • THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2018

    • Posted by: Nell Snow

    Band Ts are iconic, sure, but these days musicians have really stepped it up. From blankets to facemasks and beanies and everything in between, you can pretty much find band logos and album covers emblazoned on anything you can imagine (or, in the case of ZHU's nipple pasties, something you probably haven't imagined before). But what's the best of the best? Let's break it down- maybe you'll discover some dope new Christmas presents, or maybe you'll just end up buying a billion things for yourself. (Tread carefully).


    Zhu's got a wild collection of merch- on top of really cool jackets and sweatshirts, he's also got underwear, pasties, facemasks, a kimono and a ton more. He debuted his collection for his newest album at the California festival Lightning in a Bottle where he had a huge pop up shop, where people could even make their own customizable gear. And he also debuted a very cool look-book. Just to prove that he's the king of aesthetic.

    7. Travis Scott

    Travis Scott's stuff is just T-Shirts and sweatshirts, but the designs are super cool and wearable. I mean, black with bright lettering- you just can't go wrong. Unfortunately, it's all sold out right now, but you can still get a super creepy gold mask off of his website.

    6. Kanye

    I mean, Kanye is pretty famous for his clothing. But excluding Yeezy, because it's not technically merch (and also because it's dumb ugly, sorry don't @ me), Kanye's merch drops are consistently pretty impressive. He takes them seriously- he recruits artists like Wes Lang and Cali Thornhill Dewitt to help design his stuff so it's as cool as possible. His Life of Pablo line is definitely the most extensive and most interesting, but his Montana line for his .ye album made half a million dollars in 30 minutes, despite just including a few t-shirts and sweatshirts.

    Here he is at his launch party very subtly trying to show off all of the new clothing at once.

    5. Justin Bieber

    JB took an interesting approach to his Purpose tour line- instead of selling clothing exclusively at shows, he sold it everywhere. H&M, Barneys, Urban Outfitters, and Forever21, to name a few. It's an interesting strategy since most of merch's appeal comes from its limited supply- it's desirable because not that many people have it. But the strategy seems to have worked, and the very cool looking original artwork by Jerry Lorenzo can be found on backs across the country.

    4. Chance the Rapper

    Chance the Rapper has taken the opposite approach. He started selling just one item of clothing, but it's the one that's borderline iconic and has become synonymous with his brand. His 3 hat. Which you've seen if you've ever seen a picture of him. He made the hat super sought after, too, because it was his own personal hat for a long time before he put it on sale. (He has some other stuff too, but honestly it's boring. If you want something, I strongly recommend the 3 hat).

    3. Zeds Dead

    Zeds Dead consistently killllls it with their gear. They have so much stuff. Just… so much. Some of it subtle, and some of it has "Zeds Dead" blazoned across it. The star of the show is probably the Christmas sweater- they release a new one every year, and this one has Grinch hands forming their signature ‘Z.'

    It's great. My heart grew two sizes looking at it. (Not sorry).

    2. Migos

    Migos has really made a brand for themselves deciding what's cool in modern culture. They invented the term 'dab,' they're always dressed to the 9s and dripping with gold chains… hell, their album is called "Culture." So it's no surprise that their clothing is a wide range of Gucci-inspired steez. It's all very bad and bougie (Still not sorry).

    1. Phish

    Phish has one of the rare cult-like fan bases that many bands would kill for, the kind that happily follows them around across the country or to warmer climates (they do a show in Mexico). So I guess it makes sense that their fans would want to deck themselves out in the most Phish related gear possible. But geez the Phish "Dry Goods" store is overwhelming. Seriously, if you shop from this store, you won't have to buy anything without "Phish" branded on it ever, ever again. I guess they prove it- old school does it best.

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