The fashion brand Carhartt WIP has teamed with Motown to launch a new clothing range that will celebrate the idiosyncrasies of the record label that reshaped American culture.
Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Berry Gordy Jr. founding the label in Detroit, Michigan, the thirteen-piece capsule collection riffs on imagery and ephemera found in Motown’s archive and back-catalogue.
In 1959, after a relative degree of success writing songs for artists, Gordy founded Motown Records – a nod to Detroit’s motor-manufacturing heritage. He set about establishing global stars such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, and Marvin Gaye, all of whom passed through the doors of Motown’s two-story house-turned-recording studio.
Motown didn’t just reconfigure what hits of that era sounded like, but played an instrumental role in diversifying the airwaves of America’s radio stations.
Taking inspiration from the imagery and vibe of the era, the Motown x Carhartt range includes a sateen bomber and rolled beanie that both nod to the cover art and promotional pictures that accompanied Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” while the Snake Pit Shirt refers to the basement recording studio in the home that would come to be known as “Hitsville, USA.”
A series of graphic t-shirts and hoodies pay tribute to other aspects of Motown’s history, from its multiple sub-labels, to the 1970 album “A Pocket Full of Miracles”, by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The collection is rounded off with a co- branded record weight and a “lollipop” style DJ headphone by Japanese manufacturer, Phonon.
The collaboration will be marked by an event on November 13th at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, with a live performance from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, as well as the first showing of “Showing Up, Showing Out”, the final installation of a three-part documentary series in partnership with Dazed and NTS.
In addition, this month’s Carhartt WIP Radio show will see renowned DJ Moodymann spinning his favorite Motown classics.
Motown x Carhartt WIP will launch on November 14th at Carhartt WIP stores, carhartt-wip.com, and select retailers worldwide.