Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion industry. Enjoy!
You're likely well aware that Justin Bieber has been on the road for quite some time — specifically, since March 9, 2016 — when his "Purpose World Tour" kicked off in Seattle, Washington. Over the past six months, the Biebs has played a staggering number of shows across the U.S., Canada, the UK, Japan, Germany, France and more, with dates still to come in countries including Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Poland, Croatia and Australia. Phew, we certainly do not blame him for being exhausted and grouchy enough to delete his entire Instagram, that is for sure.
But, all the while, the 22-year-old has gone hard on his "Purpose Tour" merch rollout, which has come in so many waves that we've started to lose track. Much like Kanye West's "Pablo" merch, the original drop (through Bieber's online store and later in city-specific pop-ups) started a frenzy of epic proportions — among old-school fans and streetwear enthusiasts alike. Then, as happens so frequently in fashion, the merch started heading downmarket, with exclusive collections available at mall stores like Forever 21; however, luxury retailers like Barneys and Selfridges were quick to hop on the Biebs bandwagon, too. Before we move on, let's recap all the locations Bieber's "Purpose Tour" merch has been available for purchase, in chronological order:
- PurposeTourMerch.com (March): Bieber kicks off the North American leg of his "Purpose Tour" in custom-made pieces by Fear of God. His online shop, PurposeTourMerch.com, drops soon after.
- VFiles pop-ups (May): He opens a "Purpose" pop-up shop in New York City in partnership with streetwear boutique VFiles. Similar pop-ups open internationally in Toronto, Miami, Tokyo, Paris and Copenhagen.
- Barneys New York (July): Barneys announces that it will carry 31 exclusive, unisex pieces of "Purpose" merch — including $1,700 leather jacket — both in stores and online.
- Urban Outfitters (August): Urban Outfitters's selection of "Purpose" merch drops and rings up at a much lower price point, falling between $35 and $89.
- Forever 21 (August): Wallet-friendly merch continues to roll out at Forever 21 with another exclusive collection, this time with eight pieces and priced even lower, from $18-$35.
- Claire's (September): Bieber's merch gets the accessory treatment, thanks to Claire's, with backpacks, ankle socks, pillows, phone cases, mugs and notebooks starting at just $10.
- Selfridges (October): A 24-piece collection hits the UK at high-end department store chain Selfridges, available online and at brick-and-mortar locations.
- PacSun (October): The latest round? PacSun, which offers 13 pieces including tees, hoodies and tanks, and drops Saturday, October 15.
Will this frenzy ever end? We kind of doubt it — at least until the tour comes to a close in March of 2017. But where will Bieber sell his precious merch next? We have a few ideas, which you can peruse below. Never stop never stopping, Biebs.
Abercrombie and Fitch: The teen retailer has completely overhauled its image, replacing its sexed-up, nearly naked advertisements and its overtly preppy styling with an impressive offering of chic knits, slip dresses, on-trend outerwear and denim that’s not destroyed within an inch of its life. But if A&F really wants to hold onto some of that rebellious teen spirit, why not call in the famously angsty Biebs? We can see the "Purpose Tour" intarsia sweaters now, perhaps paired with a flannel wrapped haphazardly around your waist.
Bath and Body Works: Justin Bieber has dipped his toe into the world of fragrance in the past, but we're thinking he could easily bottle and sell a "Purpose Tour"-branded scent, available in an array of products like body splash, lotion and shower scrubs. What do we suppose Mr. Bieber smells like on tour, aside from boy sweat and the lingering scent of weed? We're willing to find out!
J.Crew: JB x JC? How cute, right?! Bieber's preppier fans could indulge in varsity sweaters adorned with JB patches at the chest, vintage-inspired army coats with the tour logo printed across the back, or even well-tailored denim jackets with more delicate embroidery than the original version. Something tells us Jenna Lyons could get into this...
Party City: Bieber is fond of going incognito on his off-duty days, so why not offer some "Purpose Tour"-branded disguises for when his fans are not feeling up for human contact? It's almost time for Halloween, after all.
PetSmart: Just think, you could get a "Purr-pose Tour" collar for your cat.
Sketchers: Puma has Rihanna and The Weeknd, Adidas has Kanye West, Reebok has Future... shouldn't a pop star as huge as Bieber have his own sneaker collab? "Purpose Tour" Sketchers could be a massive hit, especially if they're as souped up as the kicks the artist wears on a regular basis.
Supreme: This might be the ultimate troll, but we're willing to bet that lines would stretch to infinity if Bieber collaborated with Supreme on a line of t-shirts, hats, skate decks, or random objects, like a hockey stick or a stuffed monkey, for instance. Imagine how much this shit would resell for on eBay!
Victoria's Secret: Well, if this doesn't seem like a match made in heaven. Biebs has a history of palling around with models — Hailey Baldwin, Barbara Palvin, Kendall Jenner — and has performed at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in the past. We can see it now: VS Pink sweatpants with the "Purpose Tour" logo printed across the butt and teeny tiny undies with JB spelled out in rhinestones. We know what we're hoping to find in our Christmas stockings, fam.