I feel Obey have gotten a rough ride these past few months. The explosion in popularity of the brand over the past while has far outgrown the notion of the streetwear brand as some kind of underground cult. Some inward-looking critics have lambasted the brand for its ever-growing visibility in the UK and subsequent movement on to the high street. Add to that the sheer number of unscrupulous ebay hacks and market stall chancers shifting units of shoddy quality box log rip stuff and you’ve got Shepard Fairey’s brand staring you down on any given day in any town centre up and down the country.
So what have the brand done about this? Continued to cash in on their popularity and rinse the easy logo stuff? Nope, in a move that deserves a tip of the cap regardless of your opinion of the brand, Obey have instead limited the amount of logo pieces they are now producing going forward and instead focused their efforts on producing better cut & sew.
What we began to see in the Summer 2013 drop with custom print shirting has come to fruition for Fall 2013 with arguably Obey’s strongest collection to date. A full range of autumnal jackets and shirts showcase some of Obey’s strongest pieces in a minute. Elsewhere we have such marvels as tiger-stripe camo sweat pants (something I’m sure I’ve dreamt about at some point as some kind of previously unthinkable and unattainable stealth/comfort combo), as well as full ranges of gloves, wallets and scarves. Of course the graphic tee output is strong (check out the recent collaboration with graffiti legend COPE2) and the end result is a collection of clothing that stands on its own two feet; no box logo needed.