The hottest merch of 2021 is the cinephile merch


2021 moviegoer merch

Zhao: 20th Century Searchlight Pictures Studios; Tran: @spenserharrison, @stayluckystudios; Ephron: Everett Collection

style points

Style Points is a weekly column on how fashion intersects with the rest of the world.

A few weeks ago I did something very unusual and set off an alarm to buy a t-shirt. It wasn’t your Supreme or Vetements garden variety that I was looking for, but a limited edition tribute to Michael Mann’s movie soundtracks from the Andafterthat label. At this point, I might as well put the movie merchandise as a line item in my budget: I also considered buying a Karyn Kusama shirt from Super Yaki and used to browse the site of the Former Tees En Scène in search of Ida Lupino-themed Booty.

Merch-as-fashion music is a well-worn trope at this point, but other waves of merch have blossomed, from the public sector variety that peaked during the pandemic to plays celebrating restaurants and even grocery stores ( an Erewhon tracksuit will put you back $ 300, or about 15 of their vegan coconut yogurts.) These days, perhaps influenced by a lockdown that has turned many of us into streaming movie buffs, Letterboxd set grails are in full swing, be it podcaster Karina’s daddy hat The Longworth merchandise store, Andafterthat’s After hours– the inspired cap, or the surprisingly forward-thinking offerings of A24, which included a collaboration with Online Ceramics. Since the 60s and 70s, cinephilia has never been so chic. With people returning to the movies, Metrograph is now the new fashion stunt ground.

The designers, often known for simply skimming the films for mood-board fodder, also cashed in their cinephile credit. Jonathan Anderson recently offered publishers (including, seamlessly, this one) a subscription to the Mubi art movie streaming service, where Hedi Slimane also curated a movie playlist.


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And small labels offer enthusiasts a way to show off their personal obsessions on screen. After having watched 20th century women and admiring a minimalist Lou Reed shirt that Greta Gerwig’s character wears in the movie, Louisa Maycock and her friends Daniella Verektenidi and Jake Cunningham decided to create shirts that proclaimed the names of female directors and actors in the style of a rock T stripped of their own feelings and thoughts on this person’s work rather than to have a specific aesthetic of a certain style of film or illustration, ”she says. Soon the line, Girls on Tops, snowballed into a cottage industry, with Tracy Letts sporting the Greta Gerwig t-shirt on the Lady Bird Red carpet. (The Lady Bird the connection is strong; Gerwig and Timothée Chalamet also wore the brand’s designs.) The line also paid up front, donating a portion of the profits to up-and-coming director projects.

chloe zhao on the set of nomadland

Nomadic country Director Chloé Zhao is one of the female authors celebrated on a Girls on Tops design.

Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures / 20th Century Studios

When I talk to Andrew Ortiz from Super Yaki, he just released a T-shirt celebrating Maria Menounos, who became the patron saint of early bird moviegoers with her pre-show clips. I tell Ortiz that I miss the feeling of arriving at the multiplex early for “the 20th” aka the 20 minute period leading up to upcoming attractions, advertising fictional-looking Starz shows I’ll never see, and he said enthusiastically, “This is exactly who we are. “(Menounos tweeted about the tribute, and the brand sends him shirts.) The brand has made a name for itself for its designs celebrating unsung actresses and directors, with slogans that, in some cases, call to rooted sexism in Hollywood. They also quickly understood Hollywood; Jamie Lee Curtis wore their Rian Johnson shirt, and a design that reads “Be Nicer to Kelly Marie Tran, You Jags”, referring to the online harassment the actress suffered, was worn by Tran’s boyfriend. Ortiz says that in posting these posts he is paying attention to tone. “It has to come from an organic and very respectful place. The last thing I want to do is give anything that looks dishonest.” Overall, his line is about inclusion, not the allure of cinema-snobbish. “Sometimes Film Twitter can get a little messy,” he admits, “and I want us to embody a more community and welcoming feeling.”

nora ephron on set

Nora Ephron has inspired several pieces of Super Yaki tribute merch.

Everett Collection

This community has already gathered around the two brands. According to Maycock, “A t-shirt is a pretty clear way to convey your values, what you care about and what you stand for. You can identify your ‘people’.” their social anxiety. (Even in times of isolation, she receives screenshots of people wearing her shirts during Zoom calls.)


£ 22.00

“It sounds so cool that we are becoming a force for good, for community building,” Ortiz adds. “That’s probably my favorite part of this whole process is that we give people the opportunity to start this conversation.”

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