The world’s most famous tongue and lips have adorned many a T-shirt around the world, but now some sought-after brands are riffing on the iconic Rolling Stones logo. Together with Bravado, Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company, the Rolling Stones have rolled out a limited-edition line of merchandise to coincide with the second half of the band’s No Filter tour. (Following Jagger’s successful heart surgery in March, the tour was rescheduled to later dates).
The items, which just hit shelves at Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York, coincide with the band’s New Jersey dates in early August. The collection will next travel to Los Angeles, where it will be available at Maxfield during the band’s August stops at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara and the Rosebowl in Pasadena; then it will head to Miami, where the tour wraps on Aug. 31.
Creative director Sarah Andelman, well known for co-founding the buzzy and now-shuttered Paris boutique Colette and running the consulting company Just an Idea, curated the items in the collection. Robbie Owens-Russo, global vp creative director of Bravado, worked alongside Andelman and also designed the installation for the collection, which is centered around two giant pieces with tongue-and-lip motifs, one in the colors of the American flag.
“The tongue is almost like the Nike of the music industry,” says Owens-Russo. “It is this iconic thing that doesn’t even need the word Rolling Stones next to it.” Indeed, the John Pasche design has resonated far and wide since 1969, when it was created for the band.
As part of this collection, brands including the Pharrell Williams-approved Cactus Plant Flea Market and L.A.-based Chrome Hearts have put their own spin on the motif. Designer Cynthia Lu (former assistant to Williams and designer of Cactus Plant Flea Market) pairs the logo with graphic imagery and words on T-shirts and sweaters, while Chrome Hearts brings back some of their sold-out limited edition Rolling Stones silverware.
Owens-Russo says Bravado worked very closely with Andelman on the collaborations. “And then some of the other streetwear brands were brought to the table,” he says. “We met in the middle and, when everyone was happy, we moved forward.” He says a lot of the collabs were based on relationships and existing affiliations with the band. “Mick’s son Lucas was also kind of weighing in, as well,” adds Owens-Russo.
Mick Jagger is known for being hands-on with most of the Stones affairs, and Owens-Russo says it was the same here. “I work personally with Mick and [manager] Jane Rose and the whole team. And Mick signs off on everything — whether it be the tour line or collaborations. Mick wants to see everything. Every color-way. Everything,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s refreshing, actually, to have him so involved. We’ll work on everything, get a presentation to him, and then he’ll sign off.”
This is not your average concert tour memorabilia. For one thing, there are freshly-baked Laduree macarons, with custom Stones packaging, delivered daily to ensure they’re in perfect form from the store, which is walking distance from Bergdorf’s. Owens-Russo says they’ll be delivered daily in L.A. too, each one hand-stamped with Stones imagery.
Away luggage (which Meghan Markle gave out at her baby shower) is offering customized carry-ons, with hand-painted artwork inspired by the tour. Popular in Los Angeles, Bird dockless scooters have jumped on board, too. “They usually don’t sell their scooters, but they’ve created a limited run of 15 numbered ones just for this, wrapped in tongues,” says Bravado’s vp global brand management, Christine Buckley. Those retail for $4,500 each.
The items on offer will be mostly the same in each of the cities, but Owens-Russo says L.A. shoppers will be able to get one of the custom tees Jagger himself has been wearing onstage, designed by Bravado. “We work with Mick’s personal stylist to create a block for Mick and then we print all the T-shirts in Mick’s size, with wash and everything. So before he goes on stage, he has a rack of his own bootleg merch tees that we’ve made just for him; then every night, he’ll wear one. But he’s been wearing one specifically — the one he wore on the first night of the tour in Chicago — and then next thing you know, it’s been the best-seller. Seeing him wear it on the first night was such a trip,” he says.
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) July 24, 2019
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.