The Lifestyle Brands of DJs
Electronic music and festival culture have made mainstream media stars out of DJs and producers. Now celebrities in their own right the singular styles of your favorites artists have turned into brands of their own with influence that reaches beyond the decks. Partnerships and endorsement deals once reserved for Hollywood and sports stars now include former underground heroes. Their brand launches serve as storytelling mediums and showcase their talents beyond the music.
As EDM and festival culture surged in the mid-10s artists were sought after for partnerships because they had their finger on the pulse of youth culture. Calvin Harris pushed his yearly revenue well into the seven digits with endorsements from Calvin Klein, Pepsi, and Tag Heuer.
Beyond the major endorsements, dance music’s stars have found ways to become landmark brands of their own. As they diversified, they launched personal projects in every corner of the marketplace. Music may be what they are known for, but they continue to pull the thread of their personal stories creating brands that showcase their passions.
Honey Dijon - Etsy Creator Collaboration
“Anything that I do has to have an element of joy, so I really wanted to work with artisans that had that same vibration." - Honey Dijon
Iconic DJ, producer, activist, and fashion Icon Honey Dijon is no stranger to brand expanding collaboration. In 2019 she launched a line consisting of bags and t-shirts called Honey Fucking Dijon with Japanese fashion label Comme des Garcons. The powerhouse didn’t stop there. She’s continued to show her individuality by partnering with 10 Etsy artisans to create colorful mood pieces designed to emphasize individuality. The collection ranges from statement-making printed scarves to bold graphic wall art, and bold expression earrings, all crafted by women of color.
Peggy Gou- KIRIN
“It’s the first collection so inspiration came from everywhere.”
- Peggy Gou
The trailblazing DJ and Producer is also a prominent fashion designer. Her brand KIRIN translates to giraffe in Korean. It combines her love for the rave with her keen eye for what to wear. The line of 00’s clubby rave wear made its debut at Paris Fashion Week in 2019, where it was wonderfully received. KIRIN is a gender-ambiguous line for the young, the bold, and the bright. Many of the pieces within the line fit firmly into the category of high-end streetwear – bold, printed logos and color-block designs are staples throughout. Much of it is casual, but that’s not to say that it can be considered low-key by any stretch.
Griz - Astro Hippie and Telescope
"I never thought this day would come and it’s a dream come true — especially when we found a partnership that goes back to my roots." - GRiZ
Detroit-born and bred multi-instrumentalist, future funk superstar, and lifelong stoner GRiZ launched his cannabis brand this year. As a former drug dealer, going legit was an exciting moment. He's launched two legal brands in Michigan where recreational marijuana is legal.
He bills the Astro Hippie brand as a “love letter to weed culture” geared toward experimenters and tokers who want to “explore life in maximum color” while listening to “music that tickles their ears and blows their minds.” While on the other end Telescope is all about CDB, the nonpsychoactive component in cannabis and hemp.
Zhu - I Admit It
The famously mysterious, desert-psychedelic dance music superstar ZHU launched a fashion show mimicking the style of the “I Admit It” music video aesthetic. Committed to creating artistic experiences that stimulate the visual and auditory senses. His first line was created in partnership with creative director and fashion designer Emmy Slattery in the fall of 2020. Consisting of rave-ready high fashion faux fur coats, plastic duffle bags, plastic perforated hazmat suits, airbrushed sweaters, trench coats, a cape with accent orange stitching, and many graphic tees and long sleeves. ZHU and Slattery created a peerless array of merchandise.
Jamie Jones and Lee Burridge- MEYA
MEYA is the newly launched meditation app. Centered on connecting two key mindfulness methods – music and meditation these heavy hitters worked with the team to curate the soundscape. Both include meditation as part of their daily wellness routine. And with clubs and festivals so severely impacted during the pandemic, aiding in reducing the collective stress and anxiety of the industry seemed like a great way to give back.
Swedish House Mafia- IKEA (launching 2022)
“We both wanted to reach out of our comfort zones and create something new and fresh together: a pure collaboration between music creators and a home expert. We strongly felt a need to collaborate with someone who shared our vision of making it possible for everyone to create music at home. As artists and producers, we also understand the importance of a home studio set-up and the needs and challenges many up-and-coming artists and creatives have at home.” - SHM
The iconic group Swedish House Mafia recently announced a partnership with IKEA allowing creatives the opportunity to design their homes with exclusive furniture. The collaboration emphasizes musical creativity in the home. The renowned furniture brand states their aim for the collection is to help creativity bloom. The line aims to make creatives feel more comfortable and productive in their spaces. SHM was the perfect fit to build a collection that speaks the culture of music producers and at-home creatives.