Mass market clothing brands have a long and fabled history of co-opting the logos and images of famous 'underground' bands. You can probably wander into a Primark now and walk out with a Nirvana, Ramones and other alt/punk merch, meaning 12-year-old girls are rocking Misfits tees even if they've never heard a rare pressing of Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood. Gross!
Sometimes this appropriation reaches new levels though. At the very least, sticking an In Utero artwork on a shirt kicks-back a bit of money to the Cobain estate, but this sort of benefit is off the cards when these giant corporations go after the scene itself.
Recently, your younger sister's fave clothing line (after Forever 21, natch) H&M, released a line of METAL inspired clothing on its American website.
Obviously we all know and love Slayer, and who are we to judge Kerry King and co. for going after some easy bucks. In an age of streaming, you have to sell-out on merch. But as the venerable Metal Sucks has noted, MORTUS don't appear to exist, nor have they ever existed.
H&M has also claimed the line is a collab with a label called STRONG SCENE PRODUCTIONS. Despite their week old Facebook and Twitter accounts, the label also don't actually exist. So what's going on here? If I'm not mistaken, it looks as if H&M have undertaken one of the more in-depth marketing ploys of the recent years, all in the hope of shifting a few t-shirts.
Not only have they created fake bands, but a fake label, fake fan pages and - rather impressively - fake music:
As thorough as it is, you have to wonder why they bothered. If Metal fashion will ever reach a mainstream nadir, it's now. Everyone from Kanye to Chris Brown as been spotted wearing remarkably sparkling merch, and even Kendall Jenner has been snapped wearing a Slayer tee.
If a Kardashian is already promoting clothing similar to your own, you should just go listen to Entombed in your mum's basement and watch the cash roll in. Still, brands would pay good money for this sort of coverage, and right now they're getting it for free.
Outrage = profit.
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