Hours after Justin Bieber took to Instagram to apologize and explain why he had decided to cancel the rest of his “Purpose” tour, he was looking the opposite of apologetic on another Instagram account. That’s because Thursday marked the launch of Hanes x Karla, a fashion collaboration of the brand and his stylist, Karla Welch — and Bieber isn’t just the T-shirt line’s model; he’s its inspiration.
“Karla and I have always pushed boundaries together, and this collaboration is a continuation of that,” he said in a statement.
At first glance, this looks like a bunch of plain white T-shirts retailing for $30 online. There’s something subtly different about them, however, as Welch explained to Vogue. “He was so fearless. [He said], ‘I want T-shirts that are long,’ and they literally didn’t exist in the marketplace,” she told the magazine. “It was a bit of a nightmare.”
Bieber was also very picky about what kind of fabric he liked, she wrote in a similar story on Instagram. Eventually they landed on Hanes T-shirts. She bought extra-large shirts that were the singer’s desired length and then tailored them to fit his body. The result was a throwback to baggy ’90s style, albeit a little slimmer, and it became a staple of Bieber’s wardrobe.
On Instagram, Welch described how shortly after Bieber began wearing his customized shirts, she started seeing a similar style in “really fancy stores, with really fancy price tags.” That’s why she decided to make the Hanes x Karla shirts to retail at $30 (not exactly Kmart prices, but we get what she’s comparing them with). In addition to the Bieber-inspired version, the line includes a classic fit, a crew for women, a sleeveless version, sleeveless and regular crop tops, and children’s sizes. The shirts are designed to get to their ideal comfort level after a few washes, she notes.
Twitter and Instagram are abuzz about the line, though it’s not exactly clear whether people are really excited about white T-shirts or about who is modeling them.
“Thank you for these holy photographs,” wrote sojourner on Wednesday.
“His attempts to kill me are working,” Diana tweeted.
— diana (@kidrauhlsdiana) August 3, 2017
“i really just bought this…but hey i could always use another white tee #xKarla,” Sabrina Swain wrote.
— Sabrina Swain (@BrinaMariaxox) August 3, 2017
“Like, can they sell just the poster?” asked Aimee. “I don’t want to pay $30 for a white tshirt.” She wasn’t the only one to note the high price.
steal his look!
Hanes x Karla: $30
walmart: $3.96 pic.twitter.com/bDp6l5xfHJ
— sara (@greedybiebs) August 3, 2017
Justin bieber is selling plain white hanes tshirts for $30 u can get at Walmart for $6…
— ㅤ (@cruise2theblues) August 3, 2017
In addition to having Bieber model the shirts in requisite slo-mo video, Kaia Gerber and Joan Smalls are also part of the campaign, shot by Welch’s husband, Matthew, in ’90s-inspired black and white. That should be enough to make this limited “first drop” sell out pretty quickly online at xKarla.com and in the pop-up shop appearing at Maxfield in Los Angeles on Aug. 6.
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