DJs from the world of electronic dance music (EDM) have become increasingly active in fashion collaborations over the past five or six years, with both the number of musicians involved and the number of deals being done continuing to rise.
Compared to other genres of music, such as country, classic rock, or rap, EDM stars’ merchandise efforts are less mainstream and narrower in the number of categories covered, and deals are announced relatively infrequently. That said, many of the top DJs in the field are pursuing opportunities for clothing and accessories collections that appeal to their global fan base, often focusing on casual items that would be comfortable to wear to a rave.
A handful of examples:
- Deadmau5 paired with Blackcraft Cult to design a hoodie and t-shirt, as well as a poster, last fall, followed shortly thereafter by a line of beanies, hoodies, and t-shirts from Insomniac, with counter-culture designer Rick Klotz working with the latter team to create the look. Deadmau5 has been involved in fashion since 2012, when he forged his first agreement with Neff Headwear for t-shirts, hoodies, and hats.
- Steve Aoki announced early this year that he is collaborating with Asics on a footwear collection. He is also an investment partner in Vision Streetwear, which has been expanding quickly in Asia, and launched his own fashion brand, Dim Mak Collection (named after his record label) in 2014. Dim Mak clothing was introduced in the U.S. market in 2016 with Saks.
- Skrillex paired with British label Long Clothing for a Long x OWSLA collaboration in 2014, supported by pop-up stores in New York and Tokyo. OWSLA is Skrillex’s music label.
- Tiësto forged a deal for a capsule collection with Guess? in 2012, with the alliance expanding in 2013 to include more collections and categories. He also has his own fashion label, CLVB LIFE, which marries high-end fashion with an EDM sensibility.
Many other DJs have been involved in fashion collaborations over the past few years, often pairing with apparel companies that are already popular with EDM DJs and fans. JoJo Electro Clothing, for example, has made collaborations with DJs a centerpiece of its EDM-focused fashion line, working with over two dozen different musicians and labels, including Frankie Bones, DJ Skribble, Charles Feelgood, Fish Go Deep (Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson), Duayne Motley (Stompy), and more.