Carhartt x Motown: Capsule Collection
In celebration of the diamond anniversary of Motown; Carhartt have designed a thirteen piece capsule collection that pays homage to the iconic record label which reshaped the sound of American pop music and continues to have an impact 60 years on since it’s inception. Perfectly suited through shared roots within Detroit, USA the range reflects the rich history and soulful sound behind the label with casual jacket, trousers and t-shirt silhouettes enhanced by detailed screen printed graphics and textural embroidery that portrays iconic imagery of the time.
Responsible for establishing the likes of The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy Jr in Detroit in 1959. Based in a two-story house located on West Grand Boulevard appropriately distinguished by ‘Hitsville USA’ lettering, the Motown name was created through a contraction of ‘Motor’ and ‘Town’ in reference to the city’s association with motor car production. Inspired by working on assembly lines himself, Gordy wondered if he could apply the same sort of process to music which allowed an unknown artist to go through a process and come out the other side a star. Achieving just this by supporting the talent of musicians, songwriters and producers, Motown became responsible for a distinctive sound that redefined America’s youth culture during political turmoil. Each track released by the label captured the style and voice of the time with an undeniably soulful and feel-good sound which in just three years became mainstream. Recognised for breaking down racial prejudice, Motown remains the most successful independent record company in history.
With plenty of reasons to celebrate the labels anniversary, direct references throughout the collection pays homage to a variety of stories within Motown’s archive and reflects a level of detail that is a true Carhartt trademark. Enhanced by a certain shade of purple that is synonymous with the record label, the famous Motown ‘M’ emblem can be seen throughout the range across the Carhartt x Motown T-Shirt and heavyweight Carhartt x Motown Hoodie which both incorporates the ’M’ logo with Carhartt’s established typography style to highlight the collaboration.
Recognised for the extensive list of impactful artists signed to the label, a variety of screen printed artwork, applied to cotton t-shirts, highlights key icons in history and notable topics that have arisen during the golden years of Motown. The Carhartt x Motown Pocket T-Shirt makes reference to R&B group The Miracles and individual stamper numbers for some of the best known Motown tracks takes centre stage across the reverse of the Carhartt x Motown Orderform T-Shirt. Similarly, the Carhartt x Motown Sublabels Long Sleeve T-Shirt features stylised typography and small logos across the length of either sleeve which reference topics such as ‘Weed’, ‘Workshop Jazz’, ‘AIC Records’ and ‘Black Forum’ which can all be related to Motown and its global impact. A key piece of the Motown story, the Carhartt x Motown Snake Pit T-Shirt focuses on a famous Motown recording studio nicknamed the ‘Snake Pit’ which got its name due to the small size and high number of cables running out of the ceiling, where the likes of the Funk Brothers made some of their most celebrated tracks with a distinctive sound that came from the setup of the studio.
Capturing the look of the late ‘50s and ahead into future decades which Motown continued to dominate, a stand out piece from the range is the Carhartt x Motown Varsity Jacket which is decorated with large embroidered typography with an impactful textural stitch design of the ‘M’ logo on the reverse and script style lettering on the chest that results in a distinctive retro look against a vintage style bomber. Carrying a matching aesthetic but without the embroidery, the Carhartt x Motown Master Pants have been cut to the same classic shape as Carhartt’s Denison pant and can be paired with the jacket for a refined take on a tracksuit. Completing the capsule through a simple design that is rich in association to the ‘Price of Motown and Soul’ the Marvin Beanie is a close replica of Gaye’s original style - seen on the cover of the celebrated 1973 album ‘Let’s Get It On’ - and is knitted from cherry tomato coloured acrylic with a collaborative woven label positioned centrally on the rollover cuff.
The Carhartt x Motown capsule is set for release on Thursday 14th November and various celebration parties will be taking place throughout the week in Detroit and at selected Carhartt stores. If you can’t make any of these, have you own party with the strictly Motown music mix put together for Carhartt WIP Radio by fellow Detroit native Kenny Dixon Jr. aka Moodyman which features rare b-sides, snippets from original interviews and live recordings from some of the best known artists signed under Motown.
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