Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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When Fashion Meets Music: Four Iconic Collaborations

Log onto Instagram or Twitter – perhaps a TikTok ad will sneak up on the FYP – and you’ll see an announcement of yet another singer partnering with yet another fashion label. Some of these collaborations are forgettable, the goal a little too transparent: the brands want an easy way to attract a new demographic of buyers (often, a younger one).
Not all such partnerships are like this. Some transcend the business nature of this joint effort and produce true art that shifts culture, or at least make a splashy mark in the fashion world.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most memorable times fashion met music, by genre: 


Vivienne Westwood x Sex Pistols 

Really, this should be renamed to Vivienne Westwood x the British punk rock scene of the 1970s. In a time long before Hot Topic existed, Westwood’s designs that incorporated safety pins, leather, chains, zips, shocking slogans, BDSM-themed fetish fashion(1) and even bleached chicken bones(2) helped define an era when counterculture refused to hide in the shadow of the status quo’s shadows. Her designs were loud, provocative, going hand-in-hand with the bands that were shaking up the music industry of the time.

Before Westwood’s fashion was introduced on catwalks, she got her big break by opening the boutique store Let It Rock on London’s iconic 430 Kings Road with her then-romantic partner, Malcolm McLaren, in 1971. The store, which underwent constant rebranding and name changes until landing on the infamous and unabashed “SEX” moniker, became a hangout spot for the rebels of this decade. These regulars included the future members of the Sex Pistols, whom McLaren became the manager of; this led the pioneering punk rock band to wear his and Westwood’s designs, along with their famous line of Sex Pistols T-shirts.(3) 

Here’s a snippet from a 1977 BBC special that gave viewers a peek inside Westwood and McLaren’s “SEX” clothing shop:


Rihanna x Puma 

Before Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty, Savage x Fenty and eventually, the cherry on top of her business ventures – Fenty, her own fashion house within the powerful luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, which the pandemic unfortunately paused – there was Fenty x Puma. Rihanna took on the role of Puma’s creative director and brand ambassador in Dec. 2014, which issued in a new era of trendsetting for the athletic clothes and footwear company. 

Rihanna proved her talents beyond music – more specifically, as that of a designer and businesswoman – during her reign in Puma. Thanks to Rihanna’s vision (and her suede Puma Creepers, which went on to win Footwear News’ Shoe of the Year award), Puma amassed about $975 million in sales, according to a report of its 2015 fourth quarter earnings.(4) 

Rihanna then debuted her Fenty x Puma collection in 2016, which created some of the most standout fashion trends amid the second half of a decade ruled by athleisure wear.


Lil Nas X x MSCHF

Lil Nas X is another music artist whose line of shoes left a memorable impression on the public; albeit, a more controversial one. The Grammy-winning singer’s “Satan Shoes,” made in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF, featured a pentagram charm, one drop of human blood and “Luke 10:18” embroidered on top, a reference to the Bible verse that reads, “So He told them, ‘I Saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

The shoes (666 of them, exactly) were dropped to promote Lil Nas X’s most commercially successful hits, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” in March of 2021. The single also came with a music video that featured the now infamous scene of Lil Nas X gliding down a stripper pole from heaven to hell – thus, the callout to Luke’s biblical verse on the shoes. The numbers of this verse also determined the hefty $1,018 price tag. 

The shoes were brilliant for two reasons: they reflected the intentional Biblical allegories in Lil Nas X’s music video, which would go over the heads of his haters. Of course, Lil Nas X knew this, hence his decision to sell merch that was essentially buyable pieces of shock factor (and of course, just for the fun of it, too).

The shoes brought on a lawsuit, but not from the Catholic Church. They looked almost identical to Nike Air Max 97s (minus the pentagram and blood and biblical themes, of course), complete with Nike’s trademark swooshes. Unfortunately, MSCHF was forced to recall the devilish shoes as part of its legal settlement with Nike that was announced in April of 2021.(5) 

The shoes proved what Lil Nas X does better than any other artist in the music industry: going viral. His response to the people behind the uproar? Watch below:


Hedi Slimane x Daft Punk

When you think of Daft Punk, their robot helmets are probably the first thing that pop in mind. The now retired French electronic dance music duo – composed of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter – has experimented with their aesthetic beyond switching out helmets, though, throughout their 28-year-long career. Hedi Slimane, a French designer photographer who is currently the creative, artistic and image director for Celine, helped the pair with these fashion experiments.

In 2005, it was Slimane who gave Daft Punk that rustic biker persona – with robot helmets still intact, of course – when the duo released their album “Human After All.” The black leather jackets and matching pants were a smart reflection of the album’s title, since it brought Homem-Christo and Bangalter down to Earth after a collaboration with LED FX and Alterian Inc. in 2001(6), which created helmets you’d expect an advanced alien civilization to wear.

Long gone were the biker jackets in 2013, which Daft Punk switched out for YSL’s sequined “Le Smoking” tuxedo jackets for the release of their album “Random Access Memories.” For context, thi was the era when Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers’ dance track “Get Lucky” dominated pop charts. Daft Punk’s shiny yet sleek outfits encapsulated the uniquely futuristic feel of their music at the time (which sounded much like robots producing city pop).

This relationship wasn’t limited to Slimane outfitting Daft Punk, though. During his time as YSL’s creative director, the designer commissioned Daft Punk to make the soundtrack for his Spring/Summer 2013 collection.(7)  

1) https://www.businessoffashion.com/community/people/vivienne-westwood 

2) https://www.grailed.com/drycleanonly/vivienne-westwood-sex-punk-fashion 


4) https://www.complex.com/sneakers/2016/02/puma-4th-quarter-sales-rihanna 

5) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nike-lil-nas-x/nike-ends-lawsuit-over-lil-nas-x-satan-shoes-which-will-be-recalled-idUSKBN2BV304 

6) https://www.nssmag.com/en/fashion/25343/daft-punk-fashion

7) https://hypebeast.com/2012/10/daft-punk-saint-laurent-fashion-show-soundtrack 

Words by Jade Boren

Posted On 3 October, 2022