Obey Clothing has dropped it's Holiday '21 collection and we thought it was a perfect time to give anyone who isn't familiar with their history and ethos a little background in to this incredible company.
Originally founded on the art, design and ideals of Shepard Fairey. What started for Fairey with an absurd sticker he created in 1989 while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design has since evolved into a worldwide street art campaign, as well as an acclaimed body of fine art.Fairey and fellow R.I.S.D student Ryan Lesser, along with Blaize Blouin, Alfred Hawkins and Mike Mongo created paper and vinyl stickers and posters with an image of the wrestler André the Giant and the text "ANDRE THE GIANT HAS A POSSE 7' 4", 520 lb", ("7'4", 520 lbs"—2.24 m, 236 kg—famously being Andre the Giant's billed height and weight) as an in-joke directed at hip hop and skater subculture, and then began clandestinely and aggressively propagating and posting them in Providence, Rhode Island, and over the rest of the East Coast. In an interview with Format magazine in 2008, Fairey said: "The Andre the Giant sticker was just a spontaneous, happy accident. I was teaching a friend how to make stencils in the summer of 1989, and I looked for a picture to use in the newspaper, and there just happened to be an ad for wrestling with André the Giant and I told him that he should make a stencil of it. He said 'Nah, I’m not making a stencil of that, that’s stupid!' but I thought it was funny so I made the stencil and I made a few stickers and the group of guys I was hanging out with always called each other The Posse, so it said Andre the Giant Has a Posse, and it was sort of appropriated from hip-hop slang – Public Enemy, N.W.A and Ice-T were all using the word." The meaning behind the brand itself is rooted in the Do It Yourself counterculture of punk rock and skateboarding, but it has also taken cues from popular culture, commercial marketing and political messaging. Fairey steeps his ideology and iconography in self-empowerment. With biting sarcasm verging on reverse psychology, he goads viewers, using the imperative “obey,” to take heed of the propagandists out to bend the world to their agendas.
Formed in 2001 as an extension of Shepard’s range of work. Aligned with his populist views, Obey clothing became another canvas to spread his art and message to the people. The clothing is heavily inspired by classic military design, work wear basics, as well as the elements and cultural movements Shepard has based his art career on. Through Mike Ternosky and the OBEY Clothing Team, Shepard works to create designs that represent his influences, ideals and philosophy. OBEY is about variety and experience, thinking about your surroundings and questioning the purpose. The medium is the message.
Shop all OBEY at Bored of Southsea.