Over the past year, concert merchandise has evolved from throwaway memorabilia into a full-fledged fashion product.
Artists like Kanye West, Justin Bieber and many more have all been cashing in on the upswing in concert merch. Bieber even aligned with Barney’s to create a merch collection that included this $2,100 overcoat, while West recently opened 21 The Life of Pablo pop-up shops around the world.
In New York, an anonymous designer is creating merch-inspired streetwear of his own, under the name EasterxSunday. While Kanye’s merch endeavors have focused around his most recent two studio albums, the George Condo imagery that accompanied the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is certainly some of the most recognizable in West’s discography.
Filling the gap, EasterxSunday has delivered a range of Condo-inspired gear, as well as other merch designs that have been making some impact on the web.
Check out our conversation below.
First, explain the rabbit motif and the name Easter Sunday.
The entire name of the brand was derived from my last name, Easter. The bunny came about from combining the Easter bunny with the religious aspect of the holiday. The name EasterxSunday refers to growing up here in America, when Easter is the one day that your parents made sure you looked your best, no matter how much money you had. So the goal of the brand is to dress like its Easter Sunday every day, in the context of streetwear at least.
Where did the initial ideas for your brand come from?
Originally this all started with me wanting to make dope stuff for myself. I’ve always been musically inclined, and I know how certain albums make me feel, so I wanted to wear that feeling. The first jacket I made was the Kanye one, and people started asking about it. From there, I decided to play around a little more until eventually I decided this was what I wanted to do.
The “About” section on your site reads “We all have a connection to our favorite music…,” who are some of your favorite musicians?
First and foremost I’m a child of hip-hop. My mother was a rapper and still has a video on YouTube with Wyclef Jean called “The Perfect Gentleman,” so I spent most of my toddler and adolescent years in the studio around her. That being said, I love all genres of music, but I’m always going to be inclined towards hip-hop. Pusha T is my favorite lyricist of all time. I’m a huge Kanye fan – especially musically. His lyrics are cool and the beats that he puts together are impeccable. Tupac is probably my favorite overall, but it’s a close tie with Snoop Dogg.
What was the initial reaction to your designs?
I was always told my designs were dope, and now that more people are seeing them, the reactions have only increased in quantity. Still I’m very grateful that everyone is embracing me the way they are.
Why have you incorporated so much George Condo imagery into your brand?
I don’t really use that much of his work, it just so happens that everyone loves the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy collection so it gets the most attention. George is amazing and I would love to work with him on some original stuff, but I only chose these select pieces to bring the Kanye album to life. Each collection is dedicated to an album I have a connection with, this just seems to be the most popular.
How did you go about getting the patches made?
I make all the patches myself. I source the garments and then get to work.
Do you worry about any legal ramifications for using pre-existing artwork?
I mean, I’m no idiot, and that’s always been a thought in the back of my mind. I understand how artists might feel about it, but my brand is more of a homage and tribute to the art rather than just a rip-off. Not to mention the things musicians go through as far as sampling clearance, I would hope they would understand and let me sample their artwork a little without a hassle, but hey – to each his own. I’ll cross that bridge if and when I get there.
What are your thoughts on the current state of music merch?
I think it’s cool but there’s no real cohesion. I don’t think there’s a real vision, at least one that I see. It just seems to be based on hype. I’m asked constantly if I’m going to do anything for The Life of Pablo because that’s what’s hot right now. The answer is most likely no. I like the album and other hype stuff just as much as the next dude, but I feel that our current generation is so concerned with looking ahead at the next hyped thing, that we don’t take the time to look back and appreciate the classics. That’s why I released the Makaveli collection for the 20th anniversary of Tupac’s death. Hip-hop and music overall should be about the culture not the hype.
Do you plan to restock sold-out pieces?
Yes. As of now, the Kanye jacket is sold out, but I’ll make it available for pre-order alongside the rest of the collection. I’ll probably always restock the other pieces, but once the jacket pre-orders are done that’ll be it. I’ll probably do around 150-200 of each jacket on a global scale and then work out side deals with select boutiques and stores. It all really depends though, more case by case than anything.
What else can we expect to see from your brand in the future?
A lot of new collections. I already have enough ideas to drop a new collection every month and have enough to finish out this year and the next. I’m in the process of finding a manufacturer that I will work with consistently to help speed up the production process. Also you can expect to see a whole lot more of the bunny. The album collections are always going to get attention but the bunny is my bread and butter.