Opinion: clothes make the superstar
Merchandise sales explode in the US
The newspaper De Morgen published an article about merchandise in the nightlife-scene. Of course, we couldn’t wait to write about this.
The article ‘Merchandise sales explode in the US, The clothes make the superstar’ shows an explosion of merchandise in the US. This is so true. Merchandise is booming and not just in the US. Also Belgian companies, artists and fashion brands empower their brand with their own clothing brand. The article is focused on the merchandise in the US, and then suddenly, Belgium is associated with the success of cheap band T-shirts.
According to the article, “Belgium doesn’t care a lot about exclusive merchandise. In the year 2000, there were I <3 T-shirts of Das Pop”. After that the collection of Stromae was also an exception. But what entrepreneurs who were successful with their own clothing brand? For example, Vedett socks are extremely popular, Topwijf started with one sweater and is now sold out on their webshop and pop-up stores, Tomorrowland has its own clothing label… There’s just so much potential in Belgium.
The most important thing is that there’s a gigantic difference between a band T-shirt and a clothing brand. In the article, first they talk about professional merchandise where a clothing brand is booming. And then they talk about a complete turnaround of merchandise in Belgium, where only bandshirts are a hit? A band T-shirt with the tourdata on its back is an easy way to be earn extra revenue. A clothing brand however, empowers your brand, whatever you do. Artists, festivals, companies and even coffeebars. If an artists chooses for a clothing brand, than the focus is on the collection and not just the artist. Of course Jef Van Echelpoel T-shirts will sell if there’s no bandname on it.
In a short summary, merchandise exploded because we changed from classic band shirts to a qualitative clothing brand. That’s exactly why it’s such a success, especially in Belgium. Bandshirts won’t dissapear, but you can’t compare the Starboy collection with White Suikerrock T-shirts.