Local Music Journalist
Recently, there has been a repeating trend of clothing brands popular to a niche side of TikTok collaborating with unexpecting artists. By “niche side of TikTok” I mean the side of the apps algorithm that mostly has to do with a specific style of trending fashion. Mostly these brands have a similar concept of graphic tees, pop culture references and being overpriced while targeting young consumers.
Heaven by Marc Jacobs X Deftones
I began to take notice of these atypical partnerships when Heaven by Marc Jacobs released a line in collaboration with 90’s nu metal band, Deftones. While Deftones is in no way a small band, it was still quite a shock for fans to see them working with the popular fashion brand. Heaven is a collection from the fashion label Marc Jacobs that is aimed towards teens and young adults. The clothing line became increasingly popular through Tiktok as it fed into trends formulating on the app; similar to the launching of a line inspired by the film The Virgin Suicides in the midst of it’s increasing popularity in relation to the “coquette” style. Heaven by Marc Jacobs had no trouble getting content creators on TikTok to wear the clothing, further promoting the brand and feeding into trends. Now that we are familiar with the brand, let’s dissect the Deftones collaboration.
On February 28th, Heaven posted on their Instagram (@heavn), a photo of various celebrities and influencers including Chino Moreno, Lola Moreno (Chino’s daughter), Daniel Fang (drummer of Turnstile) and Jpegmafia wearing clothing that seemed to have references to Deftones and/or the bands lyrics. The comments on the post seemed to be either not too thrilled about the collaboration or confused as to why Daniel and Jpegmafia were there. A tactic Heaven often uses is picking random celebrities to model for them; such as Yung Lean, Pamela Anderson and Nicki Minaj.
Later, on March 3rd, the brand released the line which was expectedly disappointing and overpriced. The most notable item of the release was a jersey with the “Around The Fur” album cover plastered over it at the price of $150. While the item being jersey material is unique, you can find a t-shirt with the exact same image on etsy or amazon for a maximum of $25.
The line also included various silver plated accessories with the lyric “Shove it” from the song “My own summer (Shove it)” on it – cheapest being a $35 hair clip – as well as a $30 “Around The Fur” CD you could easily find at a record store for a maximum price of $15. Overall, fans were disappointed as prices were unreasonable, especially for pieces that mostly just appealed to what would trend on social media. The brand also threw a small Deftones concert in New York during the collection’s release as well as opened an exhibit of Deftones history in Los Angeles which, though I did appreciate, I obviously could not attend.
Praying X Death Grips
On March 22nd, the brand, Praying, announced via Instagram (@praying), that they would be collaborating with the experimental, industrial rap group, Death Grips, shortly after the announcement of Heaven X Deftones collaboration earlier that month. When I saw this announcement, I genuinely stared at my phone in shock.
If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, they obtained most of their popularity when TikTok influencer Addison Rae wore their “the father, the son and the holy spirit” bikini and was “canceled”. Having embarrassingly been a fan of Death Grips for about 5 years now, I was extremely surprised that they were collaborating with a clothing brand known for having a simple style with sassy- phrased graphic tees.
I wasn’t the only person surprised as many fans speculated that it wasn’t an official collaboration until Death Grips themselves announced it. The timing of the collaboration makes sense due to the band going on tour later this year ,but also odd as they just released their own merch for very attainable prices–so why would fans have any desire for the Praying line? My guess is simply that it’s funny!
On March 31st, Praying released the clothing line that consisted of eight items – two t-shirts, two hoodies, a hat, a pair of shorts, an underwear set and a full body MC Ride sleeping bag. To say it was ridiculous would be an understatement. One of the t-shirts and both of the hoodies featured lyrics from the song “I’ve Seen Footage”, but had the Exmilitary album cover printed on it. The hat was a simple “DG” which could easily be confused for Drain Gang or something else that appeals to people who aren’t losers.
The underwear set was actually so horrid I thought about buying it as a joke ,but I decided $50 is too much for a silly laugh. I actually didn’t hate the shorts as they had the album cover from The Money Store and said “Give girls the money store” – a spin off of one of the brand’s staple phrases “Give girls money”–but the $60 price was unjustifiable as a broke college student. Finally, my personal favorite – a $180 sleeping bag with arms, legs and hood with the print of front-man MC Ride’s body on it–fully immerses you as you become one with the rapper.
Overall, this collaboration was one big expensive joke; one that I wish I had the ability to waste money on but, luckily, don’t. Most of the items can and most likely will be recreated on Redbubble or Etsy for a much cheaper price; except for the sleeping bag – that thing is insane.
Basically, TikTok has formulated a weird delusion that teenagers and young adults have the money to spend on overpriced items just because it’s their favorite band or is in trend at the moment. These collaborations seemed to have come out of nowhere, almost like these brands are drawing random band names from a hat. I can’t tell if I’m anticipating another bizarre collaboration to be announced out of excitement or spite. For now I will just accept that these items exist and wait with curiosity and fear for the next niche victim.
Anonymous on April 20, 2023
Heavn by marc jacobs is a diffusion line that steals from creatives in the heav3n queer space and blatantly rips off the aesthetics of fruitsmagazine. This is a well written article, please don’t see this as inflammatory. If anyone is going to discuss Heavn by marc jacobs and its origins, I this is important to mention. With that being said, kinda lame that deftones gave the ok on the collab. :/
for reference checkout shopheav3n on instagram.