Portfolio Information

  • Created by: Katja Mihalova
  • Date: June, 2018
  • Skills: Research, Concept Development, Design, Production, Art Direction & Styling
  • Client: Amsterdam Fashion Institute

The following product is created as the result of the graduation-program at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2018 and comes from the fascination for music merchandising from branding and fashion perspective.

Having a branding background and being surrounded by many musicians within my circle of friends, I’ve always wondered why musicians don’t prioritize their band merchandising. Also, having visited countless concerts and festivals, I’ve rarely had the urge to buy any band apparel, even from my favorite acts.

Looking at artists from a branding perspective was fascinating for me. Similar to brands, musicians are selling their product (the music) to a certain group of people who align with their ideas, sound, and visual identity. But in comparison with fashion or beauty brands, musicians don’t have to put huge effort and financial recourses in expensive promotion campaigns to sell their apparel. Band merchandising is automatically connected to the values, memories, and emotions the fans have with their favorite musicians. Although musicians sell products, music is considered art and entertainment, and not commercialism.

So, if in theory musicians effortlessly can sell any product to a fan, why don’t artists capitalize on their merchandising a bit more, while music-sales keep declining due to digitalism?

The Cool Fool Starter pack is indie Artist Gus Dapperton’s new merchandise concept, in collaboration with America’s most famous thrift store chain GoodWill.

Highly valuing Gus Dapperton’s quirkiness, comicalness, and spontaneity, the “Cool Fool Starter pack” was born. As every pack contains a one-of-a-kind shirt, which is handpicked from Goodwill’s collection, and customized for the fans. Each box maintains a surprise until opened. The fans are encouraged to go beyond the usual, established patterns of behavior and to try out new unusual roles.

Don’t be afraid to be funny, quirky, and even a little childish. Be a cool fool!

Concept, design, production, art direction & styling: Katja Mihalova
Photography: Selwyn Evers
Hair & Makeup: Semmy Jo Frauenfelder
Models: Rob Kaspers, Pien Gerbert, Sanne Bons, Nikita Arcimovich, Lennart Brugman, Mark Vaysman

If you’re interested in the development process behind this concept you can take a look at my process-book.