👽 Who is MSCHF?
AND: FILA & incense chambers
Welcome to issue #057. Who is MSCHF? And why is the art collective so conspicuous and mysterious? Gabriel Whaley, the mastermind behind it all, had a huge first success when he launched CollegeHumor at Stanford. Then in 2016, while he was working for BuzzFeed, he launched MSCHF. They’re an internet company that takes ideas that no one else will dare and makes them a reality.
So why have they been everywhere lately?
brand of the week
who is MSCHF?
what’s in my closet
what’s on the coffee table
upcoming product drops
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I’m sure you’ve heard of MSCHF around the internet. The art collective based in Brooklyn, New York blew up the internet when they worked with Lil’ Nas X on the “Satan” shoes. Remember that wild debacle when Nike sued the hell out of them?
What have they done to flip the agency world on its head?
In recent years, stars have looked towards collabs to bolster brand affinity and to keep the audience in tune with the ever-fast moving attention spans. Nike and Kanye, Puma and Rihanna, and so on. The CEO of MSCHF, Gabriel Whaley, decided to flip this concept on its head.
MSCHF - pronounced “mischief” is an art collective of unique creators on a mission to release some of the most unique collectibles on the market. In an interview with the New York Times in 2020, Whaley said they’re asking themselves how the brand can make fun of what they’re observing.
You wouldn’t call MSCHF a sneaker company - what they do is curate drops that are mostly viral pranks. And they’ve been behind the internet’s most viral stunts, stories, and products that have spread through the internet community for years.
The team has built a browser add-on that dubs your Netflix watching at the office as a conference call, a rubber chicken formed into a bong for smoking weed, a laptop called “The Persistence of Chaos” which contained the world’s most dangerous computer viruses, and so on.
WHY ARE THEY UNIQUE?
But where they really exploded on the scene was due to a pair of controversial sneaker releases. The customized “Jesus and “Satan” Air Max 97s released in 2019 and 2021 ignited media storms and blew up social media. The “Satan” shoes contained a drop of blood while the “Jesus” shoe was infused with holy water. And the two sneakers were incredibly successful marketing vehicles for driving hype around the MSCHF brand. It established a signature style of culture and publicity stunts. And most recently, they worked with The Weeknd with a vinyl edition of his album that’s on a saw blade. Seriously. And it actually works when you use a record player. No joke haha.
What this did for the brand was pushed it into the realm of the most sought-after collectibles out there today. Since they’re an unpredictable company, their drops are the same. The lack of restocks, exclusivity, and surprise drops from MSCHF are what continue to make the brand explode and drive the resale of the items.
The hilarity about MSCHF is the structured chaos they incorporate into their projects. MSCHF has had to shut down several controversial projects from companies that don’t share the same attitude. One that caught my attention was Slack. They opened a Slack workspace where anyone could compete in guessing the word of the day to win $1,000 dollars. And Slack shut It down immediately. To give a middle finger to the establishment, MSCHF created a fake restaurant called “The Blue Donkey,” where employees who pay for meals using company cards could pretend to order “food” using apps like Grubhub or DoorDash. The “food” orders were actually political donations to candidates with anti-corporate agendas. It only lasted a few hours before it was shut down.
I absolutely love the approach Whaley takes toward breaking the mold for creatives. He often talks a lot about what they are and that isn’t running ads on subways, trying to build a social media following, or even landing a spot on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list.
MSCHF aims to make drops every 2 weeks, and you can only find out via text message. Despite limited publicity, they sell out in minutes. And they’re looking toward the future outside of their app while continuing to operate unlike any other business out there and expand into experiential IRL campaigns.
"We're in this weird place where we're not really thinking like a business," Daniel Greenberg, MSCHF’s head of commerce, said. "We just do shit, and people buy our stuff."
🏊♂️ Swim Trunks → For the guy who goes big, By Parra's Waterpark Swim Shorts are built to be durable and long-lasting. Their quick-drying polyester exterior is great for swimming laps and has a color block design that makes these shorts pop. Details include an elasticated drawcord waist, two side pockets, and a rear pocket.
🩳 Shorts → Carry on. The good stuff doesn't come from copying others. It comes from breaking free of them. These jogging shorts are made for playing, working and everything in between.
🩳 Shorts → If you're up to no good like we are, then the full cut Wild Things Base Short is sure to do the trick! Durable nylon base fabric features an elasticated waist with hidden drawcord for a secure fit. 86% Nylon, 14% Polyurethane.
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Parley for the Oceans, Dior for the Beach [READ MORE HERE]
Rise & Re-grind with Online Ceramics X The North Face [READ MORE HERE]
Incense Chamber → Whether it's to fill your house with the smokey scents of a mystical fire dragon, or to simply make things smell better, this incense holder from Astro Boy will do the trick. Measuring 4.75 inches tall and square in its base, this impressive piece has a hole on top for your favorite incense stick to rest in. Combining the captivating design of a boyish space hero with the functionality of a handy holder, this unique design is made entirely out of ceramic, so you can leave it out without fear of picking up mildew like you would with most clay pieces.
Mug → A graphic mug that says it all, the Whisper Mug combines form and function. Its side handle makes it easy to hold when you're on the go and its ceramic material makes it durable to withstand the rigors of your everyday life. Its high-gloss finish will complement your current collection.
Floor Mat → Looking to add a little Wacko Maria style to your home? A line of soft pile rugs with a simple design print and 100% acrylic fibers, this rug will be perfect in any space.
See you next Sunday,
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