WEDIDIT: The Music Collective Making it in Fashion

WEDIDIT: The Music Collective Making it in Fashion

Music merchandise is having its heyday and WEDIDIT brings a refreshing reprieve from its overly serious contemporaries

Music merchandise is having its heyday and WEDIDIT brings a refreshing reprieve from its overly serious contemporaries

Photography: Megan Cullen

Text: Ian David Monroe

“Our shirts are the boots in the gallery; the poop on the pedestal,” says Henry Laufer, better known as producer Shlohmo, talking about the offerings of his record-label-cum-apparel-brand WEDIDIT. Co-founder, and WDI manager, Nick Melons clarifies, “There’s a difference between like a boot on a street and a boot in a box in a gallery. You can see a piece of shit, like a literal piece of poop in the street, and it’s just a piece of poop in the street, but as soon as you put that shit on a pedestal in a gallery, that’s art.”

The less-than-appealing metaphor isn’t entirely wrong, but it certainly doesn’t give them enough credit. The two have leveraged the clout of their collective to infiltrate a historically exclusive market, and all at under $100. In luxury retail, only socks and belts sell at such a low price point. At Opening Ceremony, where WEDIDIT currently sells, the line of clothes could hang on a rack between a $600 Comme des Garcons shirt and a $3,000 Raf Simons jacket—hence the “shit on a pedestal.”

Henry Laufer and Nick Melons

Merchandising a record label is a rarely ventured route, but not entirely novel. “I mean, rap labels were the only ones who ever did that. Rock-and-Roll never did that shit. Only, like, Jay-Z and Diddy and all these people were like, Yo, we could fully finesse a clothing line on the side with everything that we do,” says Melons. Laufer adds, “That’s also how we came into shit too. Music was just another focus of ours. We’ve always been designing and making clothes and shit, making shitty t-shirts in high school, aspiring to do more with it.”

The two met at an arts and sciences high school in Santa Monica, California. On his fellow classmates, Laufer offers a Trumpian comment “Everyone was a loser at our school. I was way cooler than the people at our school by the way. I didn’t hang out with anybody.” Melons remembers it differently, “No, Henry is just salty cause no one fucked with him in high school. I had a lot of friends so I had a much more positive outlook on the experience.”

Whatever the truth, the environment did less to foster growth and more to foster opposition. “I always felt mad spiteful in school because of the art part of it. Like, they never fucked with me. And I respectively did not fuck with them. I think that’s what kind of what drove us to make shirts in our own garage and stuff like that. Like fuck this, let’s just do shit ourselves,” recalls Laufer.

Defying conventional ideas of art, and finding inspiration in the absurd, still sits in the DNA of WEDIDIT. “I think what we’re inspired by is not the good shit, but the bad shit of the world. I think that’s what we try to replicate intentionally, the shit people did really poorly unintentionally.” The end product is screen-printed t-shirts and hoodies with logos and designs that look like they barely escaped the early 2000s, a time when Limewire ruled the world and piracy still referred to boats. That decade is when the collective was born.

“It was just a bunch of friends making shitty music and DJing and stuff and people making art and shit. Then when we all left high school we kind of wanted a way to share it with each other so we started a Blogspot so that was kind of the first thing was just so we could share with each other. All of us had admin logins and it was kind of like free Instagram DM for just each other. There wasn’t SoundCloud, there wasn’t anything; it was, like, MediaFire. Then we’d just make our own art,” says Laufer. Melons adding, "It started from nothing but a website and it’s now grown into an internationally recognized and absolutely detested by many record label and clothing company.”

The two talk like brothers, finishing each other’s sentences without filter. They’re also quick to self-deprecation despite their successes.

“We’re idiots,” says Laufer. “We’re idiots and just not really organized,” interjects Melons, adding that they’re “not really into the whole fucking fashion drop thing. We’d rather just make t-shirts when we feel like it.” If they are in fact idiots, then they’re pretty self-aware idiots. “We’re in an interesting position because we came into this as a record label and so when we designed clothing, initially, the purpose it served was merchandise for the label. Traditionally, merchandise was sold as a promotional asset for music, not as the main source of income. There has always been a lower price point on merchandise because you want to encourage people to buy it cause then it’s a billboard for your artist. For us, we find a middle ground,” says Melons, adding “we always keep in mind, a lot of people who are buying our clothing buy it because they want to participate in the record label brand and support the artist, so we have to keep that in mind when setting prices. But at the same time we’re scaling up and we’re starting to do cut and sew,” Melons says, summing up the whole venture succinctly.

“It’s kind of like how mother fuckers have, you know, their entire couture line but then make sunglasses in China. We’re doing that on a very small scale,” chimes in Laufer.

Purchase pieces from WEDIDIT now on their website

Credits: PRODUCER HANNAH HUFFMAN MAKEUP SILVER BRAMHAM AT ART DEPARTMENT HAIR SAMI KNIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER MEGAN CULLEN AT ART MIX CREATIVE

UP NEXT

Travis Scott Drops 'Birds In the Trap Sing McKnight'