In case you’ve been living under a rock you might not know that OBEY is now available to buy on the Urban Outfitters website. They’ve been selling it in store for a while but if you’re anything like me then you’re too lazy to go shopping in actual shops. So now you can order OBEY from Urban Outfitters while sitting on your sweet, sweet ass. What a wonderful time to be alive! I’m become a huge OBEY fan of late – you know I love my streetwear but OBEY is a brand with a pedigree unlike any other. There seems to be a bit of confusion around the progenitor for the OBEY logo and name, which I find pretty fascinating. In terms of dissecting the pop culture elements that are so often remediated and combined for the purposes of marketing, branding and fashion the inspirations can come from hugely diverse sources. We all know that OBEY’s logo is related to Shepard Fairey’s “Andre The Giant Has A Posse” sticker campaign and street art, but we can trace the inspiration back further than that.
In 1988 John Carpenter wrote and directed a film called They Live. It’s a bit of a cult calssic but not as well known as some of Carpenter’s other films like Halloween (1978) or The Thing (1982). If you haven’t seen it check it out, it’s a beautiful film about a man who discovers that we are unknowingly living under the control of an alien race who control us with hidden slogans on billboards and through the media. One of these slogans reads simply “OBEY”.
As well as They Live the OBEY logo owes something to Barbara Kruger, whose artworks of black and white images and white text in red boxes has become iconic, influencing huge swathes of popular culture since the 1980s.
To celebrate this I picked my favourite piece from the new OBEY collection at Urban Outfitters, styled it up and modelled it just for you. Look, I’m sitting in a skip! Check out the Dr. Martens boots I mentioned a while back too – I told you they’d change my life.
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