Before we start, no the relationship between fashion and music is not new artists have always worn clothes and designers have always listened to music. Since the boost of Social Media however we have seen a lot of Social trends in all genres of our culture take hold of the social sphere for a while then phase out making way for the next, as more and more social media platforms and competitive phone contracts have been introduced to our culture these trends have begun to have shorter lifespans.
A recent trend that we at Trapped observed doing the rounds in both the UK and England among Music artists was the publicising of charitable acts to gain social favour and position an artist/brand as a person for the people, examples of this are vast and without offending anyone we will only give two.
During 2015 Christams 2 Chainz created and released Dabbin Santa sweaters which he made in excess of $2 Million dollars from and then donated some of the proceeds to charity taking videos of his charitable acts and uploading them to social media.
I got 50k to donate to waters … Let’s see if we can have @50cent match me! I’m pretty sure “flint” supported us! Serious post contact …. Roc nation will purchase for me and ship! Not even just him all entertainers! I ain’t got the tine posting memes and shit… “Way too trill for that” @dallaslifestyle it’s my dawg hometown too! #FORMLKDAY
Back in January of this year Meek Mill donated $50,000 worth of bottled water to the people of Flint Michigan who were having a water crisis due to lead contamination, The Philly Rapper used this as a social media tool in his ongoing rap beef with NYC Rapper 50 Cent made obvious by the rappers statement on an instagram post.
“I got 50k to donate to waters … Let’s see if we can have @50cent match me!”
That trend died out pretty quick and now mid way through the year we are seeing another trend occuring that we want to point out and find out if it will last longer than previous trends or die out just as quick.
Whilst fashion brands have been recruiting music artists as brand ambassadors for decades and using those relatonships to endorse products and construct campaigns it is a fairly recent trend of having said music stars make music and visuals to compliment campaigns and collections and we are not quite sure what we think of this marketing move as now instead of the campaigns complimenting what the artist is doing or providing clothing for a show etc now the visuals are subliminally persuading us to connect our musical tastes with a specific brand.
Last year August we saw adidas team up with fashion designer NIGO on a collection and to market the collection to a younger street based audience, the brand created a lookbook freestyle video with South London Grime artist Stormzy called the ‘Nigo Duppy’. A dope freestyle with the artist and his friends showcasing the collection throughout.
At the time Grime Fans were just glad to get new material from their favourite artist and were not put off by the clever marketing ploy at all. Fast forward to a year later and in the space of one month we have seen Trapstar x Puma recruit Grime artists and UK rappers including Akelle from WSTRN, Blade Brown and AJ Tracy for short film/lookbook ‘Unruly’ which showcases their latest collection. UK streetwear newcomers Marbek and BBK Star Frisco create a lookbook style video for a track from the fashion brands upcoming collaborative E.P ‘Untold’ and Kanye West drop a lookbook/visual for new track ‘Wolves’.
The fashion buying audiences will continue to support their favourite brands regardless of the new marketing techniques they execute and whatever markets they attempt to crossover into but does it mean that each brand will naturally inherit a new audience of Music loving young fans? We are not sure, all trends expire eventually as the temptation to imitate from other brands internet users leads to overkill and the intended audiences begin to get tired of constantly seeing the same techniques being used again and again.
Whilst there must always be new ideas to keep Music and Fashion fresh and to deliver something new to a loyal audience marrying together two huge pieces of culture and packaging them up as products to gain a new audience is a little risky as a fashion brand and a music artist can ultimately lose credibility with their core audience and come across as just another brand trying to get fast to a media savvy new audience. This is an interesting trend the Music x Fashion visuals lets wait and see how this plays out and also what impact it has on two of our passions.