BERLIN — German pop band Tokio Hotel is getting its look together. At least that was the prime motivation behind the creation of the first Tokio Hotel capsule collection, which launched at The Store in Berlin’s Soho House this week. It also is available on the group’s web shop.
Designed by Tokio’s front man and most out-there fashion aficionado Bill Kaulitz, the 12-piece streetwear range not only works on the band’s very different style types but looks primed for a broader fan base in terms of look. And price.
Geared for men but not gender-specific, the range retails from 16 euros to 198 euros. It is composed of a black “Dream Machine” bomber jacket that reverses to bright yellow; black or red crew neck sweatshirts plus a black hoodie; black and white logo T-shirts; logo socks in yellow or red; a knit scarf, headband, and cap.
Sound basic? Yes, but not quite. The shapes have a clean finish and are oversized for contemporary flair, and then there’s the wordplay, band specific and otherwise. The hoodie’s sleeve, for example, features the lyrics of Tokio Hotel hit “Boy Don’t Cry” written in yellow on the sleeve, while the cap shouts “High as F–k.” The black sweatshirt has Magdeburg on one sleeve and Los Angeles on the other, and the socks also have a city on each foot — a nod to Kaulitz and his twin brother’s native and chosen homes. The puffy bomber, emblazoned with the band’s logo on the almost wasp waistband and “High” zip pull also comes with changeable Velcro ID badges reading Crew, Security or Girl Friend. The party-hearty scarf in red, black and yellow — the German national colors — stars the band’s name in Japanese, with “High” and “Tanzen” (German for dancing) positioned near the fringes.
Kaulitz, now 28 and quietly sporting short black hair after having been blonde for a stretch (not to mention the wild hair antics of his youth) told WWD he’s always been “passionate about fashion, like music. Luckily they go hand in hand.” However, while he described his self-styled stage outfits as “crazy” and added they’d remain that way, the capsule concept aimed to find styles all four band members would look and feel well in.
“We never talk about what we wear and then we’d just show up,” he said. “I wanted to make something for all of us, and it was important to be authentic because we are very different.” Comfort is also vital, he pointed out, “because we’re on tour so much, so it’s basically streetwear. But the bottom line is that we can all wear something in the collection.”
Produced in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the capsule has been online for two weeks. So far the red sweatshirt has been the top seller. “It’s about the color, as it’s pretty well the only color in the collection. But people love the jacket too, because you can wear it on both sides,” the singer said.
The retail strategy, he explained, is to exclusively partner with one store per country. Given the time he and his twin spend in L.A., where they’ve lived for the past eight years, he suggested Fred Segal would “probably be the next.” From a merchandising standpoint, the plan is to “just add pieces randomly, but getting a little more crazy to take it a bit further.”