Represent Traveled to LA to Celebrate Its Mötley Crüe Collab on the Historic Sunset Strip

British streetwear brand Represent celebrated its Mötley Crüe collab with a one-day pop-up at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Here's more on the project.

Represent x Motley Crue 7
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Represent x Motley Crue 7

Hollywood’s Sunset Strip has been an important location in rock music’s storied history. Many of the bars and clubs that lined the block, like Whiskey a Go Go and Rainbow Bar, were where iconic bands like Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses got their start in the ‘80s. Those connections to the careers of some of rock’s biggest acts made it the perfect setting for British streetwear brand Represent to reveal its latest collaboration to the world, an apparel collection with Mötley Crüe

Represent hosted a one-day pop-up at the Viper Room, an important Sunset Strip establishment in its own right that was co-owned by Johnny Depp and became a popular nightclub destination for Hollywood’s young stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio when it opened in 1993. Two racks of Represent’s newest collection sat in the center of the nightclub, while other pieces were displayed on mic stands on a small stage that had once hosted acts like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Johnny Cash. A red neon Represent sign mimicking one the band’s signature fonts was on the back mirror wall. 

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The 11-piece lineup ($125-$255), which was released last Wednesday, is made up of pre-faded graphic T-shirts, heavyweight hoodies complete with intricate details like snap-button closures at the hood, mesh shorts, and tank tops. Each of them bears reinterpretations of some of the most well-known graphics from the Mötley Crüe archive—the cover art for hit singles like “Without You,” album art for Dr. Feelgood and Girls, Girls, Girls, and more. Rather than sign a licensing deal with the band and just remake some old concert merch, Represent took things one step further by weaving their own branding into all of the imagery. 

“With a lot of people now, it’s more like a licensing type deal where the only brand identity you’ll see is like a neck label. It’s super easy to get that over the line because you’re not arguing about placement or whose logo is bigger,” says the brand’s design director Michael Heaton. “To fuse your brand’s assets with the band’s assets is much harder to achieve.”

Michael says that a big reason he initially became intrigued by the idea of reimagining some of these designs was when he was first introduced to the burgeoning vintage T-shirt market during his travels to the United States. He obsessed over the unique washes that these old T-shirts possessed after years of wear and the character they were given through small rips in the collar or hem line. He became a collector. When Represent tried to introduce its UK customer base to the style that they had fallen in love with, they embraced it. 

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“In the UK, [vintage band T-shirts] weren’t really big at the time. It was something I’m into, but does that mean that everybody else is gonna be into it? But ever since we did it, people could tell it was authentic,” says Michael. “It did really well.”

This collab is just the latest of Represent music-inspired capsules that have included official projects with other rock legends like Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead. The capsules act as nostalgic nods to founder George Heaton and Michael’s upbringing. George notes how the brothers were misfits growing up in Northern England listening to many of these bands and skateboarding. They were largely inspired by California culture. Their skinny jeans and long hair were a stark contrast to the tracksuits and shaved heads donned by their peers. 

“We grew up listening to Mötley Crüe, listening to every type of rock genre that was happening over here on the Sunset Strip,” says Geroge. “We fell in love with it. If you go through the archives of Represent, you’ll see so many references to everything around here: the billboards, the buildings, the locations. We are massively inspired by this place. So to have this opportunity to actually do something with Mötley Crüe was so iconic for us.”

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In true rockstar fashion, Represent ended their trip across the pond with a late night party on the Sunset Strip at The West Hollywood Edition. Of course, Mötley Crüe’s hits like  “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” were mixed in and played over the speakers throughout the night. 

This pop-up acts as the latest step in Represent’s push for growth in the US market. George hints at a future pop-up in LA this summer and an installation during Art Basel Miami in June. While this visit to Los Angeles was temporary, George also sees a permanent space in the city in Represent’s future. 

“Our first store has to be in London. We’ve been looking for a space for the past two years,” says George. “As soon as London’s open, LA and New York will be my next two spots.”

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