RISING TIDES: Not about to be left behind during this time of great resistance, Obey, an art-infused socially conscious brand, has joined forces with the feminist label Wildfang to create a capsule collection.
The Rise + Riot collection is geared for those who want to fight the system and band together against oppression. In one of the more unexpected descriptions of a collaboration, the line was made as a sign of togetherness and getting angry. Apparently such ire can be found in three graphic T-shirts – cropped, long-sleeved and oversized; a hooded coat; trousers, and a “Dad” hat. Designed to speak for themselves, the garments are imprinted with such self-explanatory hand gestures as shaka, the peace sign, a middle finger, a heart shape and fist. The line launches on Wildfang’s site today and Obey’s on Jan. 15. Obey’s Instagram-driven sales account for 10 percent of the brand’s business.
This marks the first time Obey has collaborated with a women’s brand and executives sought out one with an authentic voice. The timing of the launch was scheduled to coincide with the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March. Wild Fang’s creative director Taralyn Thuot said, “We wanted to represent the feelings we were all having in that moment and still have a year later, a mix of anger and hope. What it felt like to come together as women and raise our voices against issues that impact our lives and our future.”
Obey, meanwhile, has been immersed in activism since founder Shepard Fairey started posting stickers of his Obey icon all over the streets of Providence when the clothing line started in 1989. The street artist was not directly involved with the Wildfang project.
The Portland, Ore.-based Wildfang has its own renegade heritage. Started in 2013 by two former Nike Inc. staffers, Emma Mcilroy and Julia Parsley, the company caters to “badass women everywhere” with men’s wear-inspired styling and irreverent content.