Minor Threat's former frontman, Ian MacKaye, has given the O.K. over to Urban Outfitters for the official selling of their t-shirts. While we're sure some punks and hipsters alike are upset over the news, anyone who wants an official t-shirt can buy one for $28. Fans might be wondering: why do this now? Well, your old Minor Threat t-shirt could be unofficial.
MacKaye wanted to give the store a liscense to sell their official shirts because in 2009, Forever21 (among other stores) sold bootleg Minor Threat t-shirts. It probably didn't help when the stores (Urban Outfitters included) were burned later in 2012 for having “sweatshop like conditions” in the manufacturing department of their companies. Check out what MacKaye told the Washington City Paper below:
“Dischord doesn't make T-shirts,” MacKaye clarifies in a phone call. But Minor Threat is another story. Because so many bootlegged Minor Threat shirts are constantly floating around the universe, MacKaye decided the band had to do something about it. The solution: Get another company to oversee their official shirts, and when a bootleg crops up, let them deal with it. “It's fucking absurd the amount of bootlegs are out there,” MacKaye says, and “my time is better spent doing other things.”
“It's not a political thing for me,” MacKaye says. “I just don't give a fuck about T-shirts.” At some point, the former Minor Threat frontman said to the band, “This is crazy. I spend so much of my time” chasing down bootleggers. He found that when he contacted the responsible parties about their bootlegs, they just gave him hell. “They get in your face… or they deny it,” he says. “It's a complete waste of time.”
Just because the shirt is licensed doesn't mean MacKaye approves of the sweatshoppy clothing chain selling his band's shirts, though. “Do I think it's absurd? Yes, I certainly do,” he says. He also thinks the asking price is ridiculous, but he's more or less resigned to it. “Motherfuckers pay $28, that's what they wanna pay for their shirts.”
Minor Threat aren't the only ones doing this either. Fellow D.C. natives Bad Brains have also given Urban the green light on selling their t-shirts. While you might have a shirt of your own already, here are two photos of some of the iconic designs the company has in stock: