Carhartt x Relevant Parties
Presented through a series of enlightening podcast episodes alongside a capsule range of printed t-shirts and sweatshirts, the Carhartt x Relevant Parties project highlights some of the most influential independent record labels of the past 40 years with a conceptual approach that provides a deeper insight into each selected label. As part of an on-going series of music-focused capsule collections which have so far honoured names such as Underground Resistance, Fela Kuti and Motown Records, Carhartt WIP go beyond surface level when it comes to designing honorary collections and demonstrate their admiration for individuals who seek idealism through a love of music with devotion and drive.
With the first ‘Relevant Parties Vol. 1’ capsule collection released in November 2020, focus has been brought to six groundbreaking record labels - DFA Records, Ghostly International, Jazzy Sport, Ninja Tune, Stones Throw and Public Possession. Standing out during an era of widespread music streaming and algorithm-led playlists, Carhartt reiterates the important role labels still play in building and shaping an artist’s career, regardless of the fact that many listeners may not know the background story of their favourite musician; its significance still remains valuable. Exhibited across premium hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts, custom artwork drawn from each of the record labels’ iconic aesthetic takes centre stage alongside an additional limited edition collaborative Carhartt x Relevant Parties garment. Combining a heritage within producing durable, high quality apparel with playful, experimental graphics, Carhartt’s reputation for quality is prominent throughout in both construction and screen print application, helping to take each design to the next level.
Highlighted with printed date and collaborative labelling to commemorate the partnership in years to come, each apparel style has been cut to a loose fit from high quality fabrics such as organic cotton single jersey, 13oz cotton polyester heavy sweat blend and polyester double piqué which each suit casual, everyday wear and will relax further over time - hinting at the idea that they are destined to become a part of a new generation of vintage music t-shirts. As an alternative representation to sound,different illustration styles have been used to decipher each record label from the other and artwork varies from a walkman wearing ghost for New York City based Ghostly records to colourful lightning bolt illusions for fellow city dwellers DFA alongside more striking varsity-inspired designs created to represent Tokyo based Jazzy Sports. Bold monochrome ‘1990’ imagery highlights the start of London’s Ninja Tune records first decade in the industry whilst a jolly music-lover cat for Munich, Germany based Public Possession clashes with a slightly sinister scene for Los Angeles collective Stones Throw.
Furthering the outreach of each label’s own curated sound, a limited run of cassette mixtapes featuring a selection of their most notable tracks combined with future-classics have been included within the capsule collection. For the more digitally-inclined of us, the monthly Relevant Parties Carhartt WIP podcast show is dedicated to the work of groundbreaking independent record labels and takes a look behind the scenes of each label with in depth discussions between host Chal Ravens and some of the industry’s most important independent tastemakers.
Arriving during a time where live shows have been put on pause, the Carhartt x Relevant Parties collection not only highlights the talent and commitment behind independent record labels, but also celebrates their commendable drive that will no doubt lead us to a new, alternative way of experiencing and enjoying music. As we enter a new era with greater support for smaller-scale communities and more localised events, this capsule introduces each label to a wider audience whilst carrying with it the rich history and inspiring attitude of each of the individual music collectives.
Set to continue into the new year, the monthly Carhartt x Relevant Parties radio station aired its first episode in August 2020 with a debut interview with Stones Throw Records, followed by a discussion with Ninja Tune founders Jonathan More and Matt Black who share stories of London during the ‘80s and ‘90s. Sure to refresh fond memories for some and more recent recollections of good times with others, whilst we wait to see what the future holds for the music industry each episode is sure to ignite a spark of hope and optimism within the current void and are available for listening on all major audio streaming platforms.
The Carhartt x Relevant Parties release will be available at Flatspot on Thursday 12th November 2020 at 00:00am (GMT).
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