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Designer Brian Lichtenberg teams up with VIBE to remix some of its classic covers from the vault and debut his brand new collection. His latest designs, which pay homage to classic street wear of the '90s, mark a new direction for the Los Angeles-based wunderkind, known to flip familiar luxury brands such as Chanel, Balmain and Céline.
"The brands we selected for the collaboration for the covers were iconic and influential street wear brands of the '90s," he explains. After sifting through the archives, he handpicked the brand's most iconic cover shots and paired them with popular brands Polo, Fubu, and Timberland.
VIBE's first cover star Snoop Dogg was paired with the repurposed Timberland logo, a fitting combination given the rapper's enthusiasm for the green. Lichtenberg then plucked the 15th anniversary issue cover that Jay Z adorned, giving it the Fubu spin.
The final pairing pit Polo Ralph Lauren with the March 2010 relaunch issue starring Drake. The Toronto rep even says it with his chest with the catchphrase YOLO etched into his shirt, representing an affinity to the lifestyle cliche he created with just four letters.
Lichtenberg, who sums up his label as "tongue in cheek meets high fashion," has recently taken over the niche "ironic shirt" market in the fashion industry. Over the past few years, fashion's elite has adopted his high-end brand-logo knock-offs. Singers Rihanna, Ciara, model Cara Delevingne and most recently, actress Lindsay Lohan, have all subscribed to the cult Lichtenberg, aka "BLTee" as his tags read, has created. He is also a celebrated couture and ready-to-wear designer.
But with genius comes controversy. His recent collection received backlash from the internet after he teamed with Kitson LA, plastering the names of drug paraphernalia on their latest designs. Anti-drug groups have put the collaboration on blast by calling the collection "disgusting" and "shameful."
Lichtenberg released a statement, saying that his shirts are nothing more than a "parody of pop culture" and hope the outrage will "open the door to a much needed dialogue" on the prescription drug epidemic.
With signature pieces like the "Xanax" jersey, the "YOLO South Central" or the ubiquitous "Ballin'" & "Homies" tee, the forward-thinking trendsetter has placed his finger on the pulse of society, proving he hasn't missed a beat.—Robbie Sokolowsky
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