A little skirmish with Nike won't get in the way of MSCHF's fun. Today, the enigmatic Brooklyn-based collective launches a very visual exploration of flex culture by way of its provocative clothing line, At All Costs.
As made abundantly clear by the project's manifesto, MSCHF's new project takes aim at status-obsessed streetwear labels. Specifically, MSCHF is calling out companies like Anti Social Social Club, Fxxking Rabbits, and even Kanye West's Life of Pablo merch, condemning the practice of selling seemingly simple garments at inflated prices.
"The value of a product is exactly equivalent to the amount you paid for it," MSCHF says. "Luxury brands will let you spend increasingly enormous sums for the same basic blank tee. An 800 dollar shirt doesn’t block the wind any more than a 15 dollar one, but it sure warms the ego."
Ah, ego. At All Costs, MSCHF's debut clothing line, plays on and into that very element of the human condition. For its first drop, AAC is applying a customized pay-what-you-want bent to blanks, offering several boilerplate designs in special editions that display the very price that was paid for them. Snagged the "Tube Man" tee for $0? The dollar value placed atop his flailing torso will reflect that. Dished out $500 for the "Firearm" hoodie? Your splurge has earned you a giant "500" print.
It's more than mere stunt: MSCHF is making a point about the nature of consumer culture, wherein shoppers are drawn to drop bigger and bigger dollar amounts for garments distinguished by logo alone for the sake of publicly asserting financial dominance. At All Costs encourages customers to reconsider wearing their wealth with pride, as the only thing separating AAC's deep-pocketed customers from its frugal fans is the dollar amount printed atop each item.
Although MSCHF is making a novel mockery of late-stage capitalism, it's not without a shred of sincerity. It promises that AAC's garments are ethically sourced and (mostly) made of organic or bamboo cotton jersey in America to "sustainable" standards.