For the Millennial and Gen Z streetwear enthusiasts of today’s modern era, there may be a chance you’ve never heard of the Beastie Boys but its possible in recent weeks, you’ve seen the iconic name plastered across headlines. For those unaware of the influence the hip-hop group possessed in the late ’70s, it was nothing short of enormous. 26 years since their album Ill Communication and coinciding with the new documentary Beastie Boys Story, the group has partnered with Opening Ceremony for a new take on streetwear. After all, Beastie Boys rose to fame during its birth.
Now available online, the new kit essentials are inspired by Beastie Boys tour merchandise, transformed into collectibles. The collection pays tribute to the group’s most classic album and singles covers, Opening Ceremony pairing them with artists Kim Gordon, Raymond Pettibon, Bill McMullen, Geoff McFetridge, and Nejc Prah whom created new versions or works based on the albums they love.
Shop ICON’s picks below.
Opening Ceremony x Beastie Boys Boiler Suit / $800 AUD SHOP NOW
Opening Ceremony x Beastie Boys x Raymond Pettibon Licensed To Ill Oversized T-shirt / $182 AUD SHOP NOW
Opening Ceremony x Beastie Boys x Nejc Prah Check Your Head Hoodie / $363 AUD SHOP NOW
In addition, we’ve been supplied a Q+A from Opening Ceremony Co-Founder & Creative Director Humberto Leon as he shares his earliest memories of the band, their ongoing relationship and the concept behind the latest pieces. Take a read below.
What are your earliest memories of Beastie Boys? Do you remember the first time you heard them?
One of my earliest memories of Beastie Boys is from 7th grade, during school dances when I remember hearing “Brass Monkey” and all the kids would be going crazy! “Fight for Your Right” was a popular song that we would all listen to while driving to school. My sisters were older, and they introduced me to this music, along with big bangs and crimped hair.
Do you remember the first time you met them in person?
I was first introduced to Spike, through my good friend Jason Shcwartzman, and we immediately became friends. Our first collaboration was for “Where the Wild Things Are” and since then, we’ve worked on many fun projects, from creating inflatable dancing dolls to producing Spike’s first theatrical play, then first musical, first photography exhibition and even now, his very first book (with Rizzoi, which will launch this month). He introduced me to the band. When I first met Adam (Ad-Rock) and Mike, it felt like meeting my teenage idols. They’re incredible guys, casual and down to earth. I worked with Mike D on my second Kenzo Men’s show where he did the music. We have been friends since.
Are there ways in which their approach or creative process is similar to yours?
The common thread in our approach, be it Spike or Adam or Mike, is that we all love doing projects with our friends. Work is then fun. We are all trying to story-tell in the most authentic way, and we apply this method to everything we do.
How did you become involved in the project with Apple?
My involvement began with working with Spike on his book with Rizzoli, and this publication coincides with the release on Apple+ of his documentary, Beastie Boys Story. The book is a collection of hundreds of Spike’s personal photographs and documents his friendship with the group, and I worked with Spike on the curation of the photos. When the project expanded into a discussion of film screenings, festivals, and premieres, I was brought in as a creative director to help bring to life their ideas in a thoughtful, multi-faceted way.
Tell us a little about the collection. What is the aesthetic and inspiration?
We wanted to transform this idea of tour merch into collectible, covetable art editions. Spike, Adam, and Mike asked me if Opening Ceremony could create merch, and we proposed the idea of taking their classic albums and singles, pairing them with relevant artists, and creating new versions of the album covers. We enlisted the talent of Kim Gordon, Raymond Pettibon, Bill McMullen, Geoff McFetridge, and Nejc Prah, all who have amazing points of view. They each created new works based on albums they love.