Invisible DJ, clothing label LnA and Girlie Action Media & Marketing partnered to create the Music Tee, a shirt that marries fashion with music.
Retailing for $39, the Music Tee features album cover art on the front, track listings on the back and a hang tag containing a URL and unique code where consumers can download the album.
Mos Def was the first musician to release "The Ecstatic," his new CD, in T-shirt format. The shirt debuted July 7 and was produced in collaboration with Downtown Music.
The first round of Mos Def music Ts sold out; a second batch is currently being manufactured.
Most of the shirts are sold online or in boutiques, such as Ron Herman. Record labels can sell shirts wherever they want, so apparel may appear at concerts or nationwide department stores.
For shirts sold in stores, I'm curious to know how the hang tags are protected. Are they activated at checkout, much like a gift card? I hope so. Otherwise, anyone can tear the tag from the shirt and download the CD, giving new meaning to rip and read.
Record labels can also customize the hang tag URLs, driving traffic to artist Web sites or concert microsites.
Keeping pace, Nielsen SoundScan recently signed a deal with The Music Tee that allows shirt sales to count as album sales once the music has been downloaded. The Music Tee also teamed with Nylon Records, allowing the label to begin creating Music Tees for their signed artists.
The next batch of artists releasing their own Music Tees includes Sliimy, Plastiscines, Amanda Blank and David Gray.