“I don’t want the panda to be too high, you feel me?” Desiigner says in his guttural voice, half slurring, half mumbling his words. “The eyes are too red. More white on the eyes. I don’t wanna promote too much weed for the kids that wanna buy it.”

It’s a muggy afternoon in August and the 19-year-old rapper is at the Manhattan office of Bravado, the Universal Music Group-owned full service merchandise company, checking out the gear they’ve created for him for the first time. He’s wearing a sample of a black T-shirt that features a panda—with very red eyes—holding a bamboo stick with “DESIIGNER” on the front and “I GOT BROADS” on the back (the opening words of his No. 1 hit single, “Panda”). He turns toward the full-length mirror just outside of Bravado CEO Mat Vlasic’s corner office and poses. Desiigner holds his fingers in the shape of guns, points them at his own reflection and flashes a proud smile. “This T-shirt is fire though!”

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Desiigner is just one of the more than 200 artists Bravado currently works with. Founded in 1997 by brothers Keith and Barry Drinkwater (now founder and CEO of Global Merchandising Services), Bravado has produced concert souvenirs for many of the top music acts of the past and present, including The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Travis Scott, and Selena Gomez. (Despite being acquired by Universal Music Group in 2007, Bravado isn’t restricted to artists signed to the label.) “We want to be the national partner for any artist who wants to expand their brand,” says Vlasic, who was appointed CEO this past March. Vlasic previously led Sony Music’s merchandising division and signed merch agreements with A$AP Rocky, Bob Dylan, The Strokes, and Johnny Cash.

Inside Bravado’s showroom are some of the items it’s made for these megastars: box sets, shot glasses, sneakers, skateboard decks, mugs, collector’s edition Monopoly board games, water bottles, and of course, T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, and hats—all emblazoned with logos, album art, and the artists’ faces. But in the last few years, memorabilia has gone from mere “merch” to a full-blown fashion trend. “It went from a one dimensional product of the black heavyweight T-shirt sold at concerts to a lifestyle product,” says Vlasic.