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10 Metal & Fashion Collaborations That Could Baffle Us Next


Everyone knows that when we think of heavy metal, we think of a beautifully tailored suit with fine Italian craftsmanship, a high-fashion reputation and a $6,900 price tag. At least, that’s the gleefully out-of-touch belief that the members of Metallica appeared to radiate in their Brioni campaign earlier this summer.

The pairing of Metallica and Italian luxury menswear label Brioni inspired much hand-wringing among both the fashion and metal communities. A commenter on Blabbermouth’s announcement of the campaign suggested the band change its name to “Posetallica.” A fashion journalist writing about the partnership for W felt compelled to make a “What, was Slayer not available?” joke not once, but twice in his think piece. Basically, this campaign made nobody happy.

And yet, neither bands nor brands seem to be deterred by the reaction. Just in early August, Ray-Ban unveiled a collaboration with Deafheaven. It’s a not a new phenomenon: John Varvatos has been doing it forever with KISS, Slash and Iggy Pop, to name a few, and Marc Jacobs picked Marilyn Manson for his Fall 2016 campaign.

But Metallica and Brioni? Deafheaven and Ray-Ban? This merchandising feels more tone-deaf than ever, but what if this is the world we live in now? What if fashion and metal are just two crazy, love-struck kids determined to defy their parents and run away together? Think about the collaborations that some of the metal bands we know and love (or love to hate) might start feeling pressured to do just to keep up. Record sales don’t amount to much anymore, but showing how cvlt one looks in Wayfarers could bring home the bacon.

E Zegna Facebook 2
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Dave Mustaine x Ermenegildo Zegna
Brioni makes really expensive suits. Ermenegildo Zegna makes even more expensive suits. Metal fans might have been rolling their eyes when they saw Metallica’s Brioni ad, but Dave Mustaine was calling his manager. Whether hitting the stage for this year’s tour in a three-piece suit feels on-brand to Mustaine or not, he must beat Metallica.

G Star Facebook 2
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Cannibal Corpse x G-Star RAW
For all we know, there’s a closeted metalhead on the PR team for G-Star RAW, the “urban” denim brand that malls love. Maybe there’s been a lightbulb over his head ever since Deafheaven x Ray-Ban. He’s pitched the idea of camo cargo short-lovers Cannibal Corpse modeling none other than G-Star RAW’s own camo cargo shorts. His boss loves this idea because they’ll reach a new audience of “subculture tastemakers,” and Cannibal Corpse loves it because free camo cargo shorts.

Black Metal Hoodie

Marduk x Vetements
Fashion people worship Demna Gvasalia, the low-profile designer behind Vetements, so much that he was able to make $1,265 black metal-inspired sweatshirts the most coveted thing going. In an effort to appear more authentic than Kanye wearing one of these bad boys, Gvasalia will reach out to the scariest black metal band on his radar: Gorgoroth. They’ll turn him down, so he’ll settle for Marduk, who are cool with being a little more casual.

Callaway Facebook 2
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Alice Cooper x Callaway
Once upon a time, Alice Cooper was the stuff of magical metal nightmares. Now, Cooper–or should we say Vincent–balances his time under a guillotine with time on the links. The guy loves golf. A lot. Leading golf brand Callaway is finally starting to realize this and will see the potential to freshen up its image a little. Instead of swinging around a cane during his sets, Cooper will swing a golf club and wear a branded polo under his studded suit jacket.

Courtesy of their Facebook.
Courtesy of their Facebook.

King Diamond x Goorin Bros.
King Diamond’s appearance is built on two trademarks: his corpse paint and his top hat. The latter is the dapper hat of a proper gent. Proper-gent hats are the specialty of Goorin Bros. The focus of the century-old brand is its heritage, which is decidedly un-edgy. In an effort to branch out a little, Goorin Bros. will badger King Diamond until he lets them make his top hat and he poses for a few pictures. Goorin Bros.’s ad copywriters will obviously borrow his lyrics for the tagline, too: “Goorin Bros., for when you’re dressed in black with your stick and your hat.”

Courtesy of their Instagram.
Courtesy of their Instagram.

Ghoul x Rick Owens
Sure, Ghoul’s whole ethos revolves around evoking a general air of grime à la the Garbage Pail Kids, but the band can’t deny when they’re starting to make it a little big. They’ll find the luxury balaclavas of avant garde fashion designer Rick Owens, and swap their pilly ones for super-soft $108 ones. Between dousing crowds with fake blood and staging monster battles, they’ll remind crowds that if they have to perform in disguise, Rick Owens is the only way to go.

Courtesy of their Facebook.
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Babymetal x Stephen Jones
Babymetal is far from a typical metal band and their aesthetic accouterments are similarly unique. But Babymetal’s success has relied on balancing an element of cutesy with aggression: there has to be a bite to their sweetness. That’s where milliner Stephen Jones will come in. Creator of this monstrosity, Jones will dream up huge, nightmarish headpieces for Babymetal, and the bow-favoring trio will endorse a new trend of insanely oversized hair accessories.

Courtesy of their Facebook.
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Baroness x American Apparel
Baroness is on fire, almost literally. Still trying to overcome intense business struggles, American Apparel will see an opportunity to outfit the band and its fans after hearing about the sweltering show Baroness played in Massachusetts this month. Just to play it safe for future AC-breakdowns, American Apparel will provide Baroness with mesh tanks, and the band will sell logo-printed versions at the merch stand for fans who need to lighten their layers.

Courtesy of their Facebook.
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Watain x Acne
Swedish brand Acne makes the most coveted leather motorcycle jackets in fashion, but it’s yet to tap into the potential for a whole new market in the leather-clad metal scene. When not dressed in clothes they just dug up from a nearby graveyard, black metallers Watain can often be found in biker jackets. Being from Sweden, too, the band is an easy connection for Acne, an easy wardrobe update for the band, and an easy intro to luxurious leather for the band’s fans.

Courtesy of their Facebook.
Courtesy of their Facebook.

Gojira x Patagonia
If there’s one thing Gojira are known for almost as much as their music, it’s their environmentalism. The French metallers use their lyrics and spotlight to advocate protecting the earth, most notably working with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Since the band keep their look pretty simple, their signature black tees are the perfect opportunity for a partnership with eco-friendly Patagonia. With both Gojira and Patagonia promoting environmental activism, this collaboration would be one no one could hate on.

—Courtney Iseman

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