Videos by American Songwriter
With the rise of deals on the Internet, one company is finding a niche exploring the connection between fashion and music.
Kyle York, along with his brother Travis and two friends, visited the music and technology conference, South By Southwest, in 2010 and noticed how much fashion played a role in the community of musicians in Austin. Soon afterward, York and his partners created a new e-commerce website called 1Band 1Brand to help facilitate the connection between musicians and fashion brands.
Each week, 1Band 1Brand pairs one emerging artist with one boutique fashion brand, offering a one-week only download from the artist (available through Bandcamp) and a coupon code for a discount on apparel from the brand. The site recently paired the Nashville singer-songwriter Will Hoge with the Philadelphia apparel company, Duke & Winston, offering a name-your-own price download for Hoge and a 15% off coupon code for the clothier.
York and his partners also put on house parties in Manchester, New Hampshire, where York works at the internet infrastructure company, Dyn, which serves companies like Netflix and Pandora. The house parties, called the 138 Listening Lounge, have hosted groups like Everyday Visuals and Hoots and Hellmouth.
York says the band/brand pairing is done arbitrarily, though brands – and sometimes even bands – are requesting to be paired specifically with each other.
And now the business is starting to scale. York’s company has been approached by the UK fashion brand Jack Wills, which York describes as a British version of J. Crew, to book bands for 22 Jack Wills store openings in the U.S. this summer.
York says he’s not worried about the music community being adverse to the explicit branding. Those days are largely over, he says, adding that most bands already realize that it’s important to think of themselves as a brand. For bands at this level, getting exposure through the service can only be a good thing.