LONDON, United Kingdom — “The best thing about music is that it’s so passionate,” says Australian designer Justin O’Shea about his upcoming capsule collection created in partnership with legendary heavy metal band Metallica and London department store Selfridges.
The collaboration is something of a reunion; O’Shea cast Metallica in Brioni’s Autumn/Winter 2016 ad campaign during his time as the brand’s creative director.
Now, under his new, self-funded label, SSS World Corp, O’Shea has teamed with the band on a line of apparel and accessories that will launch Friday at 3pm with a guerrilla-style presentation in Selfridges’ beauty department.
“It’s about finding a new format of showing and about creating something that’s not supposed to be there,” O’Shea tells BoF. “It looks more like real life instead of a fantasy world. You put the [models] in the middle of what’s already happening and then see how the world reacts to it instead of you creating a world that you know is controllable.”
The collaboration forms part of Selfridges’ “Music Matters” campaign that has been running throughout the summer in an attempt to “reassert the importance of collective experiences in music, at a time when 40 percent of London’s music venues have shut down in the past decade.” The initiative has included a performance from Yang Li’s music merchandise label Samizdat.
“Fashion is becoming more interactive,” says O’Shea. “In the last few years, the brands that are the most influential aren’t the brands producing crocodile bags but those that are real and people have touchpoints with.
The collection, which goes on sale exclusively at Selfridges on October 20 — two days before Metallica’s London show — comprises of bomber jackets, raincoats, sweatshirts and trousers as well as accessories like caps, beanies and socks, all of which riff on the band’s instantly recognisable imagery and typography.