The Bob Marley estate has always been up to task, securing a sizeable cut away from the bootleg industry. Images of Bob Marley have been depoliticized like Mao and Che Guevara before him, all gesturing a yellow book call for revolution. Streetwear company Stüssy had other things in mind when they rolled out a collection of graphic tees borrowing his graphic image, all without drawing too closely upon an inextricable political message.
The graphics include artwork from several of Bob Marley’s tour posters, artwork, merch etc. A few of the t-shirts make reference to his 1978 record Kaya, as well as his iconic imprint Tuff Gong. All images have been provided by the artists.
The longer tees look the part of concert merch, with less emphasis on the illusion of tie dye and more of a historical record of each event. Much of Bob Marley’s tour posters and cover art preceded an era of sensory. Stüssy considered Marley’s simplified reggae aesthetic when they put together the patchwork design.
Streetwear have a way of overexploiting a simple idea, something for which Stüssy is not guilty of doing. Naysayers will never-the-less remark of redundancy posed by Bob Marley imaging, but that in itself is an issue of semantics.
The Stüssy Bob Marley Collection will be available at all chapter stores as of yesterday (July 6th).