Harley-Davidson hires former Yeezy designer to relaunch its clothing brand

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Vintage Harley-Davidson t-shirts had a big moment in the mid-2010s, and the motorcycle manufacturer is now taking a more direct role in the fashion world.

Former Yeezy designer Louise Goldin has been hired as Harley-Davidson’s creative director. In his role, Goldin will lead Harley’s existing design studio in Milwaukee and a recently opened outpost in New York. Goldin previously worked with Kanye West’s Yeezy from 2011 to 2018 to help establish the brand, and she’s also been lauded for her futuristic work with knitwear through her own eponymous label.

“I feel a deep connection between Harley-Davidson’s design language and my own DNA as a designer,” Goldin said in a press release. “I am inspired by the unique combination of engineering, function, craftsmanship and soul that is at the heart of Harley’s iconic heritage and brand aesthetic. My goal is to work that spirit and transform it into new pieces that will take the brand forward into the future.

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Will the Harley store become a gold mine? — Also joining Goldin at Harley-Davidson is former Nike executive Erica Bullard, who steps into the newly created role of senior vice president of apparel and licensing. Prior to his appointment, Bullard worked at Nike for 23 years and most recently served as vice president and general manager of Nike NYC and East.

Many Harley owners see their motorcycle as a lifestyle and take it a step further by dressing up in T-shirts, leather goods and a host of accessories for the home, garage and beyond. of the brand. The challenge, it seems, will be for Goldin and Bullard to bring that appeal to a much wider audience and turn Harley-Davidson into a lifestyle brand, whatever its association, or lack thereof, with motorcycles.

Harley’s lush archive of t-shirt graphics would be a natural starting point with a proven track record of fashion adoration. The brand will still have to appease its core audience with functionality and authenticity, but, as we’ve seen with the outdoor trend, stylish people are often keen to embrace superfluous gear in the name of aesthetics. It’s not a stretch to imagine Harley becoming the next hot thing, especially with one of the minds behind Yeezy now involved.

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