Metallica Reminds Everyone Why It’s the King of Merch
Metallica teams up with Vans on a collection of merch to celebrate its newest album, ‘Hardwired… To Self Destruct.’
Image via Complex Original
Before Kanye West had everyone wearing skulls with Yeezus emblazoned across the chest and long before Justin Bieber had swarms of fans waiting to buy 'Purpose' tour merch dripping of '80s skate and rock nostalgia, there was Metallica. The resurgence of vintage metal T-shirts led by West and Bieber and brands like Fear of God puts Metallica exactly where it wants to be: back in the fold for doing what it's always done. The heavy metal band spearheaded an era of style just as much it did with music, thanks to its oft-imitated logo and aggressive designs made up almost exclusively of skull motifs.
Metallica recently partnered with Vans to release a special T-shirt that encompasses the tenets of the band—thrash and rebellion. "The key to making these event shirts a success is that first and foremost they have to remain a Metallica t-shirt—something that immediately connects with the diehard fan," says Probity Merch, the merchandising company that represents Metallica. "The first thing that has to be in place is the clear branding and aesthetic that people recognize as Metallica."
It's another chapter in the creative partnership between the two; in 2013, each member of Metallica designed their own sneaker, which included signature Vans silhouettes like the Slip-On and SK8-Hi.
The new T-shirt was released exclusively at House of Vans London, along with Metallica's own concert merch that included clothing and accessories. The new collection brandishes a glitched version of the band's unmistakable logo and the trippy cover art from its latest album, ‘Hardwired… To Self Destruct.’ In line with the band’s counterculture spirit, there are also graphic T-shirts with oversized font proclaiming, “We’re so fucked” and “Shit outta luck.”
On November 19, 800 fans young and old packed together House of Vans London to watch Metallica perform classics as well as songs from its newest album. Despite an influx of artist merch, those rabid fans turned Metallica’s signature pointed logo into their uniform and proved that there is in fact room for yet another merch tee—the original one.