Artist Merch: A Wave That Cannot Be Stopped


Tour merch used to not be a big deal. You’d go see an artist you liked in concert, and you might just buy yourself a t-shirt from their merch stand if you liked them enough. Maybe if you were a really big fan, you’d head over to their website and grab yourself some merch on there. It wasn’t really a fashion statement of any sort, you’d just wear it because you liked the artist.

Oh, how things have changed. Starting with Kanye’s “Yeezus” tour merch, the demand for artist goods has increased tenfold. Tour merch is limited. It resells for high prices. It sells out right away, and is not easy to get anymore. Justin Bieber’s “Purpose Tour” merch was designed by Jerry Lorenzo and had a pop-up at VFILES. Travis Scott just announced his new merch line will consist of 60 (that’s right, 60) pieces. Kanye’s Pablo line has been so successful that people line up for hours to buy it at pop-up shops all over the world.


Why is this? It could be a few things. In today’s Internet age, people are consuming more than ever before. They want more, they want new, and they want it now, especially when it comes to famous artists that they like. The merch is an easy and accessible way to show that they’re “cool” or “in the know”.

It could also be that the designs are better. More and more artists are pairing up with skilled artists to get input and creative direction on their merch, a la Bieber and Jerry Lorenzo. You’ve got to admit, today’s merch doesn’t look like what artists were cranking out ten years ago.


And honestly? It could be a fad, just like rock tees (which are dead). Trends come and go in fashion, and who knows if anyone’s going to like artist merch next year or the year after? There’s a very real chance that something could come along and replace it.

Whatever the reason for the popularity of artist merch is, it’s pretty incredible. You’ve just got to sit back, admire it, and see what happens next. Now excuse us while we go throw on our Pablo hoodies. It’s fall, and it’s starting to get rather cold out.


What do you think of artist merch? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you own any? If so, what’s your favorite piece? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, check our Facebook page for daily updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire sneaker pictures you can handle.


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