Obey Clothing

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Obey Clothing is a offshoot company of Obey Giant Art. Some of the clothing designs share elements of Shepard Fairey's prints and fine art, but much of it shares only the Obey name or small icon. Many Obey purists feel that the commercialism of this company discredits the Obey campaign.

Originally posted on Obey Giant:

Shepard Fairey sheds some light on OBEY Clothing...

Why would I do an Obey clothing line? Well, for those who don't know, I have made Giant/Obey T-shirts since 1989. I never considered tees to be a conceptual conflict with the Obey Giant street art campaign. Even though Obey has existed for the last 13 years primarily as a street art project, I’ve always been more interested in how my art and ideas can be disseminated than in adhering to the meaningless criteria of what the “fine art” world deems art should be. As a populist, I’ve always wanted my art to be accessible and I’ve looked at fashion as an incredibly influential facet of pop culture, and at the tee shirt as a utilitarian canvas.

When the team that is now Obey Clothing first got together for a top secret strategy meeting, in a bunker, in a hidden location, a hundred feet below the earth’s surface, safe from government surveillance and corporate espionage, the question was posed, “Shepard, how would you describe the essence of the Obey Clothing line we are putting together?” My response was, and my mantra continues to be, “Intelligently irreverent…the direction where Punk Rock should have evolved.” The Obey clothing line is the logical extension of my street art campaign and a reflection of my personality. The line embodies my graphic design style, my sense of humor, my “question everything” politics, and my “basics with a twist” fashion sense. I enjoy the challenge of translating my ideas into a clothing line and potentially reaching a new audience. There is an opportunity with clothing to be creative on many levels, which is a refreshing departure from the constraints of the rectangular poster. The Obey line is also a great vehicle to foster collaborations with artists and designers that I admire. Whether I am working artistically with someone like graffiti legend, Zephyr, or receiving the honor of having Ozzy Osborne or the Misfits endorse a tribute graphic, Obey is about creating a clothing line with substance and integrity that represents the culture and defiant ideas from which I came and continue to perpetuate. I look at it this way, we all have to get up everyday and put something on, so why not mix powerful graphics, provocative ideas, mischief, humor, and style, and have a great time doing it? I wear whatever I want, and listen to whatever I want, everyday. This line is intended for people who identify with the same spirit of independence.

Shepard Fairey, 2003

Obey Clothing is available for purchase from these fine retailers:

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