Fight for your right

Humberto Leon tells the story behind Opening Ceremony’s Beastie Boys collection
By Jake Hall | Fashion | 22 April 2020

Beastie Boys x Opening Ceremony, Courtesy of Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon was a teenager the first time he heard Beastie Boys. “Fight For Your Right was a popular song that we would all listen to while driving to school,” he recalls, crediting his older sisters for introducing him to their music – as well as “big bangs and crimped hair.” Decades later, Leon knows the group personally – both as friends and collaborators.

Today, Opening Ceremony is teaming up with Farfetch to launch a seven-piece capsule collection which coincides with the anniversary of Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication record, as well as their new documentary, Beastie Boys Story, directed by Spike Jonze. Comprised of tees, hoodies and a jumpsuit at a range of price points, each piece features key artwork reinterpreted by artists including Kim Gordon, Raymond Pettibon, Bill McMullen, Geoff McFetridge and Nejic Prah.


“We wanted to transform this idea of tour merch into collectible, covetable art editions,” says Leon of the collaboration. “Spike, Adam and Mike asked me if Opening Ceremony could create merch, and we proposed the idea of taking their classic albums and singles, and creating new versions of the album covers.” The result is a series of colourful, abstract graphics which riff on iconic images like the sardine can cover of Hello Nasty; there’s even a pastel-hued reinterpretation of the EP artwork of An Exciting Evening With Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

This isn’t Leon’s first collaboration with Spike Jonze, who he met after being introduced by Jason Schwartzman, an actor known for making magic with inimitable director Wes Anderson. Their collaborative portfolio includes 2009 film Where The Wild Things Are, a brand new book with Rizzoli (set to launch this month) and even a handful of inflatable dancing dolls. Meeting the Beastie Boys came more recently, when he enlisted Mike to soundtrack his second menswear showing as co-creative director of Kenzo. “It felt like meeting my teenage idols,” he recalls of connecting with the rest of the band, “but they’re incredible guys, casual and down-to-earth.”

This spirit of community and collaboration is written across the capsule collection, as well as the Rizzoli book, which sees Spike collate hundreds of personal photographs from his own archive with the band. “That’s the common thread in our approach, be it Spike or Adam or Mike,” concludes Leon. “We all love doing projects with our friends, and we’re all trying to story-tell in the most authentic way.”

The collection is available exclusively on Farfetch.

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