SoundCloud is entering the fashion realm with its first fashion collaboration with design duo Grvty, launching on Oct. 2.
The seven-piece collection is the result of longtime demand, according to Erika Leone, vice president of brand marketing at SoundCloud. The collection, which includes short-sleeve and long-sleeve T-shirts, shorts, hoodies, a vinyl slipmat and Pelican case ranging in price from $25 to $200, was inspired by the SoundCloud community’s lockdown due to the pandemic, but also how music is used as an escape in these times and a way to bring everyone together.
“We’ve never done a true collaboration, but we’ve done merchandise from time to time,” said Leone. “We thought wouldn’t it be great to find a partner that embodies our community and culture and make something together?”
The music streaming platform turned to the New York City and Washington, D.C.-based company Grvty, cofounded by multimedia artists and director duo Marshall Tan and Orlando Urbina, to create the collection that features phrases such as “There Will Be a New Day and a New Song, Play On,” “Exalted, Sonically,” and “Pure & Wondrous Sounds,” the latter of which is also the name of the collection.
Tan said they started designing the collection at the beginning of lockdown due to COVID-19. “It tested our mental health and challenged many things we had come to expect in ways we had never encountered before,” he said. “In those times that we could not travel or even leave our homes, we remember turning to music as a form of escape.”
Leone explained that Grvty is the ideal partner, because the duo serves the SoundCloud community as emerging designers, and they embody the creative spirit of the independent artists that upload original music on the platform daily. Uploads were up 50 percent since the lockdown began, and there are over 25 million creators on the platform today. The company initially planned for a pop-up to launch the collection, but that was canceled due to the pandemic, although the collection itself was not delayed much.
“We’re not thinking of the collection as a test, but a start and new area,” Leone said, and more collections will come soon. The company doesn’t see this new initiative as a revenue driver, but more of a marketing push and a way to meet consumer demand.
“SoundCloud is always looking for innovative ways to champion creatives,” she said. This collection hopefully inspires that creativity and encourages communities. We’re hoping to continue to lift our communities up. Especially with COVID-19, it’s forging those collections and making the community feel connected.”