Billie Eilish On How Her 'Janky' Designs Inspired Her Merch Line Blohsh

ISSUE 7 2019 - DO NOT EVER REUSE
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Billie Eilish

It took only six hours for Coachella to sell out completely in January. Or so the world thought: While fans were racing to snatch up tickets, Billie Eilish and her team were hatching a plan with Goldenvoice to surprise-release a stash of weekend passes as part of a merchandise bundle in late February. The new passes, a mix of general admission ($476, up from $429) and VIP options ($1,046, up from $999), came with a fanny pack and a bandana from Eilish’s merch line -- items that the singer’s co-manager, Danny Rukasin, says “fit with the Coachella style.”

It was a mutually beneficial move: Coachella lengthened the duration of the ticket news cycle, and Eilish, who has notched seven hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and billions of streams without having released an album, increased the buzz around her sets. (She’ll play both weekends, on April 13 and 20; her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, arrives March 29 on Interscope.) The pact was also a high-profile promotion for the line Eilish launched quietly in March 2018. Unlike other artist merch, the line has its own name, Blōhsh; website; and Instagram account, with over 355,000 followers.

Eilish, whose edgy streetwear-centric style is a natural extension of her off-kilter pop, began designing the unisex collection of graphic hoodies and neon beanies as a personal project. “I used to sketch all of the ideas I possibly could. I did it really janky,” says Eilish, 17. “I’d download a picture of a white hoodie off Google, and then I would color it myself and put the designs right where I wanted them.” Since then, Blōhsh has grown into much more than a DIY operation: Bravado, the merch arm of Universal Music Group enlisted by Kanye West and Lady Gaga, helps oversee production -- though Rukasin says Eilish is “still heavily involved in the design process.”

Whether fans will be able to buy the fanny packs and bandanas at the festival has yet to be decided. But when Eilish looks out into the crowd, she expects to see plenty of Blōhsh. “People fuck with the brand,” she says. “Fans wear it because they’re dope and [want to] look cool as hell.”

Festivals 2019

This article originally appeared in the March 23 issue of Billboard.