Merch & Statement T-Shirts are more popular than ever. We put together a list with our top 5 brands, including The Future Is Female & the Holiday Magazine
“The last thing that the world needs is my merch.” That’s how Eva Chen, Director of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram, answered a question from her followers while sitting in a taxi during a live session. And only then did it hit me how relevant this new habit is, printing your own logo on t-shirts and sweaters in order to generate more sales, basically a physical expansion of an often only online market.
And that’s how it levels out between “merch” and “statement” – the goal always the same: wearing what you stand for, or behind, on your chest. Before Phillip Lim was bold enough to copy the iconic “The Future Is Female” t-shirt, which you can buy from the Otherwild shop in LA – and thereby brought it to the last corner of fashion industry representatives and followers – here in the office, we had thought about doing a group order quite a few times. It was a classic case of: too late on the case. Or, when you just wait for the wave to die down. It’s just a little burnt out now, even when you’re in agreement with the statement – that the next generation of leaders, potentially, lies with us.
1. Otherwild “The Future Is Female”
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The first bookshop aimed at just women was opened in New York in 1972. The shirt they printed wouldn’t be forgotten because of a photo of musician Alix Dobkin wearing it – and it went on to be re-issued by Los Angeles-based shop Otherwild with the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. Cara Delevingne wore it in 2015, and since then it’s grown in popularity.
2. This Is The Shit “T.I.T.S. x Yunit”
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That we’re big fans of Camille Charrière, that’s something we’ve already communicated. Not least because of her easy-going (and yet still ambitious) way of dealing with the digital fashion sector. She wore the top in question at Paris Fashion Week last summer. And since we’ve also found out that it’s organic cotton, it’s also found a happy wearer here in the office.
3. Holiday Magazine
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Produced by the creative studio of art director Franck Durand, Paris-based magazine Holiday comes out twice a year. He resuscitated it in 2014 – it was originally published in the US between 1946 and 1977 with a circulation of half a million. The idea was simple: an author and a photographer were sent to a certain place in the world to document the idiosyncrasies of the region in their own way. Joan Didion, Jack Kerouac, and Truman Capote were among them.
4. The Wing
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It’s a great idea, this women’s club in New York called “The Wing“. It was established in 2016 and the year was crying out for a top, all-around modern approach – so it’s no wonder that an online shop was launched soon after in which you can find everything that moves you. It doesn’t matter if you got one of the 400 sought-after membership places or if you’re on the waiting list with 1600 others: t-shirts (of course, mostly sold out), caps, keyrings, matches, pins, and stickers.
5. This Is Jane Wayne x Kauf Dich Glücklich
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“Digital soul sisters”: That’s how Veronika likes to call the two Waynes, Nike and Sarah. And it was maybe just a matter of time until they had their own collection. A similar attitude is lurking here – both online platforms work day in and day out to give a smart and emancipated view of women and swim against the “look I have a pretty dress and otherwise not much to say” wave. 13 pieces will be available from Kauf Dich Glücklich from March 1st. We’ve already ordered the “Bonjour Simone” and the yellow “The Second Sex” t-shirt.
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.