If asked "think of five musicians with their own clothing lines," rattling off a few names -- a Rihanna here, a Pharrell there, Madonna, Kanye -- would be an all-too-easy task. But there's a budding line of products that alt-R&B turned pop star The Weeknd is lending his name to: PAX's tobacco and marijuana vaporizers.
The San Francisco-based brand has announced its collaboration with the Toronto singer, born Abel Tesfaye. The product, named The Madness Tour Limited Edition PAX 2 (because PAX will also be an official co-sponsor of his current North American "The Madness" Fall tour), is branded with Weeknd's trademark "XO" logo and the device powers on to the tune of his Hot 100-topping "The Hills." The $325.00 vaper will be sold alongside the tour's merchandise at each concert.
"Abel is arguably the most relevant musician today," says PAX Chief Marketing Officer Richard Mumby. "He has a strong appreciation for design, so we thought it was a great fit to extend his aesthetic perspective to the PAX device. This is an exciting and unique way to showcase the PAX brand in a new way."
Mumby believes marijuana-related endorsement deals will join the ranks of fragrances, liquor brands, headphones and fashion lines, that PAX has been "approached for years by artists from a number of genres." Though this PAX 2 is the first complete collaboration they've partnered with a musician on, adding that it is "certainly not the last!"
In September Snoop Dogg announced and unveiled that he is the co-founder of the new marijuana-devoted company and website MerryJane.com, described the online "the encyclopedia to the cannabis world" during TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
"We're providing the industry with something that's void right now," Snoop said then. "We are the information hotline for cannabis. We are what's missing."
What has really been missing, though, are modern-day pop musicians willing to align themselves with a product that's a bit hazier than obvious go-to money-makers like apparel or beverages. The Weeknd is the first young chart-topper to not only sing about using weed and such, but to then sign on the dotted line to push a luxe product that ports it.
The question is who's next. Stars like Rihanna have several lyrics about smoking, however even she hasn't been bold enough to endorse any weed-connected product. But as more states legalize marijuana (though not in Ohio), making it more socially acceptable, expect for big acts to join the fray. PAX held 2015 after parties at Outside Lands in San Francisco and Voodoo Festival in New Orleans with Toro y Moi and Gorgon City respectively.
"We have more exciting artist collaborations in the works," adds Mumby. "Music will continue to be an important part of the PAX brand story. We'll continue to grow our presence at music festivals in bigger and more integrated ways throughout this year."