M.I.A.’s Reneges On Her Anti-Merch Stance To Make A Cool New Collection
The Debrief: And, it’s designed by one of London’s coolest names
For the 10-year anniversary of her debut album, M.I.A. is releasing her first ever line of merchandise. And, she’s enlisted one of Europe’s rising stars to design it. The singer tapped Danish-born, London-based Astrid Andersen to craft her entrance into fashion.
Anoraks and shell suits, tees and track pants in tequila sunrise orange and black make up the core of the collection, which is modelled by Tommy Genesis. A highlight of the range is an all-black waterproof created from recycled plastic by Parley for the Oceans, which is a sustainability-driven company that works with designers like Stella McCartney. The pieces, which start at £54, will be on sale today through M.I.A.’s website.
‘She was the benchmark for cool women who would wear my new collection—so when she called me, I was mega-excited.’ Andersen tells Vogue. It’s a natural fit as M.I.A’s personal style has always been aligned with the wunderkind’s aesthetic. Both women’s output is politically charged but in different ways. Where M.I.A. creates videos that put the spotlight on the refugee crisis, Andersen designs gender-fluid collections that dress men in lace basketball shirts, peach silk shorts and velvet shell suits. Simply put, the rapper wears colourful sportswear that’s bold in outlook but functional in purpose, which is essentially Andersen’s design philosophy in a nutshell.
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Can't even being myself to make merch -destroying environment and enslaving peeps can I just give u a vector and you print on ur T/hoodie— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) November 6, 2016
Regardless of the collection’s obvious selling points it goes directly against an anti-waste dogma M.I.A. previously stood by. Back in November of 2016 the singer tweeted: ‘Can't even being myself to make merch -destroying environment and enslaving peeps can I just give u a vector and you print on ur T/hoodie’, before launching a print-your-own merch line. Her DIY venture made her goods free for fans who had a printer and a way of attaching a downloaded image to a t-shirt. But, times have changed, and M.I.A. must have found a way to make her t-shirts and hoodies without compromising her own principals.
Feature photo courtesy of M.I.A/Astrid Andersen
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