Will ‘60’s Tie-Dyed Band T-Shirts Be the New Vintage Metal Tees?

Pharrell Williams, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna are bringing tie-dye back, and we’re here for it.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Though he may have started out in the shallow end of the steeze pool, it is safe to say Justin Bieber has graduated to Johnny Tsunami levels of wave riding, blossoming into a modern young men’s style icon. Though, everyone may not be racing to their local mall kiosk for Von Dutch trucker hats like the ones crowned by JB, the fashion crowd can’t seem to stay away from band t-shirts--Bieber included.

As Bieber’s Purpose Tour merchandise pulls inspiration from long-time heavy metal artwork designers–with an assist from Jerry Lorenzo, the vintage t-shirt aficionado behind Fear of God– the dark, cynical style that is synonymous with the genre has made its way into street style snaps of off-duty models and Parisian runway collections. This wave of new artists’ tour merch mimicking those of ‘70s and ‘80s can be attributed to the growing popularity of the originals, which are now fetching upwards of $2000. You’d be hard pressed to find a group of fashion photography muses without a concert t-shirt or ten—new or old—in their regular rotation.

As the natural flow of trends continue to be inspired by those of the past, Le Biebs’ Fourth of July ‘fit seems to point toward what’s up next. Coasting the water in Miami for the holiday, Bieber channeled 1960’s vibes in John Lennon-esque tinted round frames and a tie-dyed Rolling Stone t-shirt–alsoby Fear of God.

Though tie-dye’s roots may be as old as your parents, it appears to be a natural step forward—or backwards—of the heavy metal tour merch. This trend may begin to pick up more steam moving forward as Pharrell Williams was recently flicked in the studio with Missy Elliot wearing a blue tie-dyed t-shirt and an orange Cactus Plant Flea Market beanie. Between Skateboard P and J.B., we may see a lot more people trading their summer florals for rainbow-colored tie dye.  

For those of you a bit bored with minimal, toned-down looks popularized over the past few years, the vibrant and colorful, in-your-faceness brought by the tie-dye is a great option. As you can imagine, women like Rihanna already started turning up in slouchy psychedelic band T-shirts, an alternative to the staple black band tee.

You may not be in a position to smoke more joints than you can handle and quit your job to go festival hopping in your love van, but rest assured, the hippie lifestyle isn’t mandatory. We all know that nowadays every single person in a Thrasher hoodie isn’t a skater. Grab yourself a tie-dyed number, and save it for when you’re in a really good mood and ready to abandon your all-black-everything wardrobe on a hot summer day.

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