The unprecedented fusion of streetwear fashion and the world of beer has reached new heights of creativity with the recent collaboration between Martine Rose and Stella Artois.
But what drives designers to immerse themselves more and more in the world of the famous hop-infused beverage?
Let’s be clear, the fashion industry has always preferred to sip champagne in tiny gulps rather than gulp down cold beer. However, there has been a reversal of this trend in recent years. After conquering the wine industry, the fashion world seems increasingly interested in the mythical hop-laden drink, long overlooked.
Streetwear was quick to recognize the potential of beer-producing labels, as demonstrated by Supreme‘s 2009 collaboration with Budweiser, featuring the iconic red and white label of the American beer on shirts, bucket caps, and the brand’s shoppers by James Jebbia.
Enthusiasm has grown over time. Following suit, Patagonia celebrated its 40th anniversary with an organic beer in 2013, Carhartt and New Holland Brewing launched a light beer called “Carhartt Woodman” in 2014 and Obey recently collaborated with the renowned Mexican beer brand Pacifico.
For Heineken’s 150th anniversary, collaborations with brands and designers were initiated to create limited edition capsules and collectible accessories. Now in its sixth year, Heineken100 is celebrating its anniversary through special events and unique collaborations, such as the exclusive in-store party at Kith in NY and the special capsule with the Italian brand MSGM in July 2023.
MSGM & Heineken
The MSGM & Heineken® collection pays homage to the “Beautiful Moments” of sharing among friends, playfully mocking Italians’ mispronunciation of the Dutch beer: “Ainechen.”
The naming humorously invades jerseys reminiscent of the football world, tank tops (which, according to foreign imagination, constitute an essential part of being Italian).
The capsule, produced in only 150 pieces, was presented through a campaign shot by the renowned fashion photographer Brett Lloyd.
MR x Stella Artois
In recent days, attention has turned to the collaboration between Stella Artois and Martine Rose. The main style? A cognac-colored leather aviator bomber, completely covered in Stella Artois bottle caps, shaped by the talented designer to appear as if they were “folded,” recovered from freshly opened beer bottles. Some caps bear a patina, giving the jacket a lived-in look, while others have been hammered and positioned imperfectly, highlighting the DIY intent often found in Rose’s style. The lining represents an unparalleled creative touch, fully lined with custom Stella Artois drying mats, those used on pub counters to collect spilled beer, and the Martine Rose logo.
The pub subcultures of the United Kingdom serve as the backdrop and inspiration for this special collaboration. Martine Rose has always been fascinated by British subcultures, confirming her sensitivity to DIY customizations in punk-influenced clothing, among other styles. Rose also drew inspiration from the African artisanal tradition, incorporating bottle caps and other metallic objects found on the streets to create something more special and unique, functional for their daily lives.
As we have seen, beer can be considered the natural behavioral choice for a relaxed, metropolitan, and young lifestyle, easily associated with the streetwear fashion target audience.
These collaborations focus on a particular type of customer, one who knows Carhartt more for its streetwear division, Work In Progress, than for workwear; or one who sits on a Heineken but has never worn an MSGM piece.
In conclusion, these collaborations represent a relaxed, metropolitan, and youthful lifestyle, perfectly in tune with the streetwear fashion audience. The goal is clear: integrate the beer brand into the consumer’s personal identity, offering brands and designers access to new lifestyle niches, previously unexplored. In a world where fashion and beer intersect, self-expression becomes a fascinating canvas in constant evolution.